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Full text of "Recent Indian wars, under the lead of Sitting Bull, and other chiefs; with a full account of the Messiah craze, and ghost dances"

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• • • 

Introdvctofy, • 

Tha Wat with tha PnablM, • 

Tha Shoabona Uprisiag, 

Wan -with iha CalifornU Tribat, . • 

A Yuma IJattacra, 

Tha Rogua Rivar Wart, 

War with tha Chajraonaa, 

Kavijo HoatUitiaa, .... 

Tha Affidr of Moantaia Maadow, • • 

The Spokana Wars, •••••• 

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TIm FScTM Apacfact Mid AmfMihoeft, 

Wan with th« Og»UaU«« and Crowi* 

TIm Pkgaa PniilaliiiiMit, 

lI^ftTaBed, . • • • 
r Mid Um SiottZf • 

The 2tai Feren Wan, .... 

TIm Utaa of White RiTcr, . 

Tbm Mwriah Craaa and Ghoat Daaca, 

ICaateriag tha Sitnatioo, 

Raipactiag tha Upriaiiig» • 








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List of Illustrations. 

Sitting Bull, . FrontlH^ect. 

White Bagle, . • 3 

White Thunder, • • ^ 

Big Joieph. " 

John OffMt, • . • *4 

lUtion Da/ at en Agenqr, ••••••• >^ 

RedCload, »3« 

Siending Hollj, (Sitting Bull's Denghtcr), • . • • 134 

Sioux ^ the Werpeth, • * • W 

A Gffonp of Sioux Chie£i, • • • • • • .141 

General Nel^m A. Milee, • I79 

OhoetDenee, •••••••••• >^s 

Front of the Company Street, zat U. S. Cavalry at Ft. Keogh, 187 

Tepeet of SionxChiefr at Ft Thunder, • .y-^ \ 190 T 

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BMrComM>BadB-Agala, •196 

^n«w of tlM Bud Lands, ^ . . aqS 

SittiacB«UOat«pliotofrapli). ...... tit 

Oftcm«rsolliAadsi5UiIafitfitf3r»fttFtXMgk. • SM 

ABotOlm BacMipnMit, 119 







THE recent uprising of the Sioux Indians and 
their kindred tribes in the Dakotas, added to 
the possibility of a great conspiracy among 
all the mountain tribes of the West^ for the 
purpose of rapine, at a date not later than the 
spring and summer of 1891, has excited lively 
interest in all that appertains to the Red Race, 
especially their wars, numbers, and the method 
of dealing with them. 

The policy of the National Government toward 
the Indian, prior to his removal beyond the Mis- 
sissippi, was the cruel policy of extinction. In- 
dians were then more numerous than now, braver, 
more in the way. It cost a great deal to subdue 
them, more to extinguish them. They were sel- 
dom friendly, but often dangerous enemies, prone 
to ally themselves with foreign nations, as was 
natural, for every civilized nation has treated 
them better than our own« 

The time came, but not until the Indian had 
fully proved that he preferred extinction to slavery 
or to the adoption of our civilization, when it was 
deemed a wise policy to rid th^ lands east of the 

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Mississippi of his presence. All west of tte Mis- 
sissippi was then deemed sufficiently open to make 
it safe for the transfer to take place. But in 
practice it did not prove so. The eastern Indian 
had a little of the salt of commerce in him and 
had cultivated some of the ways of industry. 
He found himself among enemies of his own race. 
He was scarcely less in the way — an Indian is 
always in the way— of our own advance. So, as 
one of its first acts of mercy, the Government 
availed itself of the cheap lands at its disposal, 
and fell to the policy of a species of Indian coloni* 
zation, which took the form of granting the 
migrating tribes large reservations and a sort of 
self-government, provided they would stay at 
home, behave themselves and do whatever was 
asked of them. Most of the tribes did this, and 
those who confined themselves to the Indian Ter- 
ritory, have had little occasion to regret the did* 
position which was made of them. 

But that did not settle the Indian question by 
any means. The trans-Mississippi lands, the 
' lands of sterile plains, loAy plateaus and mount- 
ain gorges, were peopled by numerous tribes, 
more nomadic by reason of their immense terri- 
torial spaces, than those of the east; dependent 
for food on a lesser variety but a larger size o^ 
game, as the bufialo, and actuated by a savagery 






quite as cunning and remorseless as any we read 
of in the history of colonial times. While many 
of these tribes are of the same general family, as 
indicated by their speech and habits, the larger 
ones are quite distinct, being separated by wide 
plains or high mountain barriers. All of them 
lliave ever evinced the traditional hostility to the 
white man, regarding his advance as dispossess- 
ion and his methods of life as obnoxious. 

Therefore, the West-Mississippi tribes soon 
came into a prominence which ever, overshadow- 
ed that which the Bast-Mississippi tribes had oc- 
cupied in history. The constant opening of new 
lands by the whites, the discovery of gold in Cal- 
ifornia, the development of agriculture and min- 
ing in various directions^ all of the forces of our 
civilization which constantly brought the white 
man into contact with the western natives, just 
as constantly produced clashes of the two races. 
The consequences have been that pioneering has 
always been fraught with its old time dangers, 
and that the whit^ man has been compelled to lit- 
erally fight his way to the Pacific. 

For fifty years the Government has tried to 
shape a policy for the western Indian, which had 
some of the elements of intelligent humanity in 
it, but all of those years have been characterized 
by violent Indian outbreaks, and often protracted ^ 

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and bloody wars. All recognize that the policy 
of force which the pioneer uses when left to 
himself^ is based only on his selfishness, and is 
essentially brutal. That the Government might 
escape the appearance of sanctioning perpetual 
murders, and the expense of continual embroiL 
ment, by sending troops whenever called for to 
protect settlers who had become involved with 
the Indians, it adopted, as most expedient, a 
policy for the Western Indians similar to that it 
had tried on with the Eastern. While it did not 
ask them to migrate, as it- had done with the 
Eastern Indians, and for the reason that it could 
not force them, it allotted to them the lands 
which had constituted their hunting grounds 
and called them ^^ reservations.'' To these reser- 
.vations it gave crude metes and bounds, and 
within their limits the respective tribes were to 
dwelL To those tribes who had thus materially 
curtafled their hunting grounds by giving up 
large and valuable areas, the Government offered 
a consideration, sometimes very handsome, and 
the increment of this consideration, or, so to 
speak, the interest on it, was to go to the support 
of the tribe in the shape of annual supplies. In 
other instances, where the possibility of living 
by the chase within the reservation had been 
entirely cut off, the consideration was a set of 


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supplies, equal to a living, to be distributed peri- 
odically at regularly established agencies and 
through authorized Government agents. 

The scheme looked plausible* It had a show 
of fairness about it, from the white man's stand- 
point It was charitable in the respect that the 
Indian need not necessarily starve under it 
It would segregate the tribes and thus dimin- 
ish the possibility of conspiracies and alli- 
ances to cany on extensive wars. It would set 
free immense tracts of land for the progressive 
white man. It would encourage the Indian to 
try agriculture and the peaceful arts on his own 
hook. Even if he had to be fed outright and in 
full by the Govemment, it would be cheaper in 
the end, than the annual expenditure of millions 
to maintain an army with which to fight him. 
Thus segregated, and his territory defined, 
missionaxy enterprise would become possible in 
his midst. 

The difficulties in the way have been that only 
the weaker and t^tmer tribes have accepted the 
policy. The larger and wilder tribes have not 
proven amenable. Their example has always 
proven a source of dissatisfaction with those upon 
the reservations. Again, the Indian, naturally - 
suspicious and discontented, has not found that 
faith on the part of the Government and his white 

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sarroundingSy lie was given to expect. Granted 
that lie is a mal-odorous and savage being, still he 
has rights. It is doubtful whether the number of 
Indian wars and massacres has been diminished 
by a single one, by the adoption of the reser- 
vation and agency policy. Certainlyi all the late 
Indian outbreaks have involved a complaint on 
the part of the tribes that the Government 
had violated its solemn compacts with them. 
Some of these wars have been fierce and protracted 
and have cost many precious lives and vast sums 
of money. 

It is our purpose to describe these Indian wars 
of modem times. In themselves they make a 
thrilling story and are worthy of reading on that 
account alone. But they are even more valuable 
at this time, as showing how the western Indian 
and western pioneering repeat the older history 
of adventure, of daring, of cunning, of massacre^ 
and how illy prepared our civilization is, even 
after an acquaintance of two hundred years, to 
evolve an Indian policy which is at all creditable 
to our intelligence, humanity and Christianity. 
It may be that a study of the Indian wars for the 
last fifty years will show wherein our policy has 
been weak, and, mayhap, it may show what ought 
to be done to remove the badge of shame from 
our management of one of the most vital questions 



which now confronts us as a nation. Just now, 
General Miles proposes to transfer the entire con- 
trr>l.of the Indian qn^cHnn f|-Qm t1ii> oi yil fA ,fTiA 
military d epartme nt of the Government, his 
theory being that force goes further with an In- 
dian than suasion. If the step would insure a 
greater degree of fairness in dealing with him. 
Heaven help the nation to take it. 

That this little book may delight all, and at 
the same time help us to solve one of the knot- 
tiest problems of the day, is the sincere wish of 
its author. 

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Chapter I. 

IN June, 1846, the advance of the then " Army 
of the West," under Colonel Kearney, 
marched from Fort Leavenworth into New 
Mexico. It was met at Fort Bent by two troops 
of cavalry. In the following autumn a regiment 
of men under Colonel Price started for the scene, 
together with a Mormon detatchmentof five hun- 
dred men. Altogether, the gathering at Fort 
Bent consisted of nearly seveuteenhundred men, 
six companies of which were cavalry, and two 
batteries of artillery. 

The object was to expel the Mexicans and In- 
dians from New Mexico. When the American 
army crossed the plains and learned that it was 
to be confronted at Apache Canon — ^the natural 
approach to Sa^ta Fe — ^by 5,000 Mexicans, it 
naturally concluded that a desperate battle was at 
hand. But, strange to say, their advance was 
unimpeded, for the Mexicans, on learning of the 
approachof the Americans beat a hasty retreat. 
The conquest of New Mexico thus far, was easy 
and bloodless. The Mexican army was disbanded ^ 

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at Santa Fe, and the northern invaders entered 
this oldest city in the United States in peace. 

Having accomplished its mission, for the most 
part, this little army of 1,700 men, divided up for 
the purpose of conquering further empires. Kear- 
ney started with 300 men for California, and 
Colonel Doniphan marched vritli 850 men for the 
conquest of Chihuahua. The result Qf this last 
expedition was a battle at Bradto, with an army 
of x,2oo Meidcans, in which the latter were com- 
pletely routed. 

Before Kearney left for the west, he organized 
a provisional government for the Territory with 
Charles Bent as Governor. He was the builder 
and occupant of Bent's fort on the Arkansas. It 
was a strong fort, and Bent was a man of great 
courage and large experience with the rough and 
ready ways of the frontier. There were, as yet, 
but few Americans in his jurisdiction. The 
people were mostly Mexicans, Pueblo Indians and 
wild Indians. The wild Indians had been friendly 
to the Americans, because the Mexicans were in 
control, but now that the Americans were in con- 
trol, they had, according to Indian nature become 
hostile. The Mexicans, who remained were of 
veiy little account except as disturbers of the 
peace, for they were of that class which had done 
service as peons for the grandees who had fled. 

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The Pueblo Indians were the most numerous, 
intelligent and reliable of the three. They 
embraced a number of tribes, of very ancient 
origin, akin to each other in speech and habit, 
far advanced in intelligence, somewhat Christian* 
ized by the Catholic church, given to agriculture 
and art, and resident for the most part in perma* 
nent towns — whence their name, Pueblo. 

At the time of our conquest of New Mexico, 
they inhabited some twenty-six towns, some of 
which were in Arizona, occupied by the Moquis, 
or " death" portion, and by the Zuni portion, also 
in Arizona, the remaining portions being in the 
Rio Grande Valley. In -all respects they are a 
most interesting people, having a history, run- 
ning back in accurate chapters to the Spanish. 
Conquest, and traditions that connect them with 
the ancient Aztec races of the Pacific slope. That 
they had been a high grade people, is shown by 
the remains of art in their country. Some of the 
most remarkable ruins of pottery ovens, house 
architecture and irrigating appliances in the 
country, one found in their midst The outlines . 
of many ancient towns are yet distinct, and it is 
clear that they possessed the art of both weaving 
and writing. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Pueblos 
ranked as an hon^t, brave, sober, intelligent and t 

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industrious people^ to whose forefathers we ire 
williog to attribute a high civilizatiou and the* 
origin of the hyeroglyphics, the cave dwellings, 
the many wonderful ruins of art and architecture 
found in the valleys and canons from the Rio 
Grande to the Mohave Desert, they were never- 
theless true to their Indian origin in the respect 
that as soon as the American troops left Santa 
Fe for other points they began to conspire to take 
advantage of a weakened situation. They found 
ample encouragement in the disappointed 
Mexican leaders who added recklessness to their 
discomfiture. An uprising was planned for 
December of the year 1846, and its object was to 
murder or dispel every American and friendly 
Indian found in the newly created department. 
The signals tor the uprising had been agreed 
upon and were ready, but as fortune would have 
it, the plot was revealed three days in advance of 
the time set Many of the ringleaders were ar- 
rested, and there was a general stampede of the 
rest to Mexico. Governor Bent issued a pacify- 
^ ing' proclamation, which tided over the excite* 
ment, but insurrection smoldered for only a time. 
In January 1847, t^^ Pueblos rose in a body and 
demanded the release of certain of their number 
retained as prisoners. Their demand was un- 
heeded, whereupon they made an attack and 



killed the sheriff and his assistants. TJieir sue- 
.cess met with encouragement at the hands of 
several of the original conspirators, and they in- 
vested the home of Governor Bent His wife 
warned him of his danger. Seeing the futility 
of contending with so numerous and bloodthirsty 
a host, he called for assistance from the neighbors 
who were mostly Mexicans. They refused him 
aid and almost mockingly told him that he might 
as well make up his mind to die. Meanwhile he 
had received two wounds from the arrows of the 
Pueblos. Retreating to his room, his wife brought 
him his pistols and asked him to avenge himself, 
even if he must die. He declined to use them 
saying, " I will kill no one of them, for your 
sake and for that of my children. My death is 
all these in&tuated and cruel people ask at 

^ The savages had already torn the roof off the 
house and began pouring into his room. He ap- 
pealed to their manhood and honor, but in vain. 
** Every American in New Mexico should dieJ" 
they exclaimed,. " and you shall go with them.** 
An arrow followed their bloody resolve, then an- 
other and another, but the method was not swift 
enough. A bullet sped through his heart and as 
he fell, a chief, steppmg forward, snatched one of 
his pistols and shot him in the face. Then they t 


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took his scalp, and stretching it on a board with 
brass nails, carried it through the streets in tri* . 
nmph. After this, the Indians running wild 
with excitement, carried their massacre into every 
house whose occupant was an American. All of 
the leading officials perished or made their escape 
with difficulty. Whole families were extermina- 
ted. The priests, who were partly blamed for in- 
citing the insurrection had to intercede to stay its 

Word of the insurrection spread among the 
Indian tribes and the uprising became general 
Word also was carried to Sante Fe, and the 
Americans rallied for resistance. Traveling 
parties were captured and shot by the Indians, 
settlements were attacked and broken up ; guards 
were driven away from the cattle ranches and the 
cattle were stampeded and driven off. At length 
the hostiles surrounded the strong corral at Tuj. 
ley's milL The owner was a conspicuous man 
in the Territory, and stood well with the Indians. 
He had a strong band of help about him, who on 
the approach of the Indians hastened within the 
corral and prepared for defence. The Indians 
closed in upon the place and offered to spare 
Turley's life, but said they had killed the Gov- 
ernor at Pemandez, and that every American in 
the Territory must di«. Turley ^ed them. 



The Indians then began the attack under cover 
of the rocks and bushes. The defenders made a 
loop hole of every window in the mill and laid 
many an Indian low with their bullets. All day 
the siege was maintained, and at nightfall firing 
ceased, but the hostiles crept closer under cover of 
darkness. They originally numbered 500, and 
now their strength was being increased by new 
accessions. In the morning hostilities began 
again, and with increased determination on the 
part of the Indians. They got a foothold within 
the corral, where scores of them, including one of 
their most popular chiefs, fell victims to the bul- 
lets of the defenders. Baffled o'er and o'er again 
by the bravery of the besieged, the Indians re- 
newed every attack more desperately, only to 
find their numbers reduced by the unerring aim 
of the defenders. Finally the Indians got close 
enough to fire the mill. The flames were extin- 
guished only to break out again. Ammunition 
was running low. The defenders gave up hope, 
but resolved to hold on until night, and then try 
to escape, each one striking out for himself This 
they did, but in the effort to pierce the cordon 
about them all fell victims except two, who man- 
aged to reach Santa Fe as bearers of the horrid 

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On their arrival Col. Price started immediately 
with his command of 350 infantry and four 
howitzers for the scene. His force was aug- 
mented by a company of volunteers, who com- 
prised the indignant citizens of Sante Fe. They 
hastened to Taos, where they met the hostiles 
under the lead of a Mexican officer, and battle 
was at once joined. It was but a brief fight for 
the enemy was quickly dislodged from its strong 
hold by the howitzers, and then thrown into 
confused retreat by a splendid charge on the part 
of the Americans. They left 3a dead on the 
field together with the usual compliment of 

Col. Price now received reinforcements, and 
with an army of 500 pushed on to the canon of 
Embudo, where the enemy were posted in force. 
They were in a strong position, but were charged 
npon and driven out with considerable loss. 
Thence they retreated up the valley to a strong 
pueblo, and there was nothing to do for the 
American army but to follow. The pursuit 
involved great hardship, for a deep snow had 
fUlen and many officers and soldiers perished by 
being frozen, or through colds contracted by 
sleeping without tents or blankets. At the 
pueblo they found the enemy strongly fortified* 
The village was surrounded by thick adobe walls. 



at whose comers rose high bulwarks capable of 
sheltering 800 men. Every point of the wall was 
pierced for rifles, and every point without was 
flanked by projecting angles. 

It would not do to rush indiscriminately upon 
such a stronghold. The army was carefully 
deployed, and positions were chosen for the artil- 
lery. For two hours the batteries played on a 
comer of the fortification, but without effect 
Then there was a wait over night for further am^ 
munition. During this time a plan of attack was 
matured. The village was surrounded on three 
sides ; on the east and west by troops, on the 
north by the artillery. The artillery was to play 
till it made a breach in the walls, but it proved 
ineffective for this purpose. The troops on the 
other sides were then commanded to close and 
charge. They scaled the walls by means of 
ladders, fired the roofs of the buildings, cut holes 
through walls, threw in lighted shells and fought 
desperately for the vantage. Meanwhile, the 
artillery was busy landing shot and shell into 
the inclosure and distracting the attention of the 
6nemy. Venturesome as was the attack of the 
Americans, they found no such resistance as 
they anticipated, for the enemy was never given 
a moment to concentrate its fire. It was driven 
by slow degrees into the church b^ 

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comer of the pueblo, where it made its last des- 
perate 8tand« A breach had been made in the 
outer walls through which a cuunon was run. 
This was turned on the church and in ten rounds 
the walls began to crumble. Pioneers were form- 
ed who rushed into the church with axes and be- 
gan to batter down the doors. The Indians broke 
and fled to other portions of the pueblo. Those 
who tried to escape to the mountains were shot 
down by the troops stationed without, tliose who 
gained cover within the pueblo were searched out 
and given no quarter. Chiefs fell who wore the 
clothing of white men killed at Turley's mill. 
One was slain who was dressed in the coat of 
Governor Bent. Altogether 150 of the insur. 
gents were slain and twice that many wounded 
out of a total of 650. On the morning after the 
battle a delegation of men and women came to 
Colonel Price bearing crucifixes and images, and 
begged mercy on their knees. It was granted 
on condition that the ringleaders should be sur* 
rendered for trial under the law. 

The conditions were accepted, and the culprits 
were taken into custody by the army. Many of 
them were Mexican desperadoes, who had incited 
the Indians to rebellion. Scores of them were 
tried and convicted. Fourteen of them were 
execnted^ and the rest were pardoned on condition 



of future good behavior. The victory of our army 
was complete. On no occasion since have the 
Pueblos turned against the United States Gov- 
emment. Their chastisement was sufficient for 
all time. Since then they have departed from 
the Mexican traditions and remitted much of 
their savagery. Most of them have drifted into 
citizenship, and have yielded to missionary enter- 
prise. In 1874 the Government had its last dif- 
ficulty with them, which was largely a religious 
a£fair, and was peaceably adjusted. 

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Chaptbr n. 

THE great Shoshone stock of Indians origin- 
ally embraced the most powerful tribes 
of the extreme Northwest, grouped into 
families according to the topography of the 
country. The Modocs, Bannocks, Snakes, Utes, 
Kiowas and Comanches are of Shoshone origin. 
Akin to them also were the three families of 
tribes which extend from the Blue Mountains of 
Oregon to the Canadian border. The northern- 
most of these families . is the Selish, to which 
belong the Platheads and Coeur D' Alenes. 
South of them is the Saptin family, embracing 
the Nez Perces, Walla-Wallas, Klickitats, Yaki- 
mas and Pelouse. Below the Columbia River 
are the Wailatpu, Cayuses and Moleles. The 
Spokanes are found on the Spokane branch of 
Clark's Fork. 

In early days, the emigrant road through the 
Grand Ronde, over the Blue Mountains and 
down the WallarWalla to the Columbia, opened 
up what was r^^arded as a fine field for mission* 

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ary enterprise, and a large and prosperous mis- 
sion station was started at Wailatpu, for the pur- 
pose of civilizing and christianizing the Wailat- 
pus and Cajnises. Another mission of similar 
proportions sprang up on the Lapwai, at its junc- 
tion with the Clear Water, which was a centre of 
evangelical influence with the Nez Perces. Still 
another came into being near the Spokane River, 
far to the north. Down the Columbia, at the 
Dalles, and again in the Williamette, were other 
missions, mostly under Methodist auspices. 

The climate and soil were inviting. Mission- 
ary work went bravely on among tribes, which 
seemed kindly disposed and amenable. The 
missions became quite independent little settle- 
ments, with mills, shops, schools, churches, farms 
and a suflBcient number of people to constitute a 
society. But there was one misfortune attending 
settlement and missionary enterprise in this x 
region. The old and powerful Hudson Bay 
Company had a fortified trading post at Wallula, 
the mouth of the Walla-WaUa. The headquar- 
ters of said company was further down, at Fort 
Vancouver. The officers of this company 
had favored missionary enterprise from the 
States, and the presence of its strong and well 
fortified trading ports was regarded as a means 
of safety for the remote missionary stations. 

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This Company, however, came to represent 
England in her designs upon our Northern fron- 
tier. Those designs were to push the Canadian 
borders down so as to embrace a control of the 
Columbia River. The company officials made 
overtures to the missionaries and settlers, which 
had to be rejected on both moral and patriotic 
grounds. These officials then began to antago- 
nize settlement and to corrupt the natives. They 
sold the Indians rum, guns and ammunition, on 
the plea that it made their hunting more success- 
ful. They opposed agriculture, lest it diminish 
the Company's food supply. When it became 
manifest that the Americans were up to their 
game, and were forcing a settlement of the 
country, the Company fought every step of north- 
ward progress. It opposed cattle company and 
saw mill, with rivals, and at last went so far as 
to warn intruders from lands it claimed by 
virtue of no title at all. Emigrant trains were 
blockaded at Port Hall, and several trains were 
forced to deflect southward into California. Prob- 
ably the worst feature of the Company's opposi- 
tion was that it acted as convoy to the Jesuit 
Priests who were bitter against the Protestant 
missionaries from the south. 

Thejealoosy and bitterness which sprang up 
between the Catholic and Protestant missions 






passed to the Indians in intensified form. They 
became restless and turbulent, fit subjects for 
crime, should a pretext offer. The Jesuits had 
decidedly the most influence over the Indians. 
Their missions were encouraged and protected by 
the powerful Company at their back. They 
could use its employes as heralds and interpre- 
ters. They were in stronger force than the 
Protestants. In 1847, a newly appointed Jesuit 
Bishop of Oregon came to Walla-Walla and held 
a conference with Ta-wai-tu, a Catholic Cayuse 
chief. It was given out that the object of the 
conference was to devise means for dispossess- 
ing the Protestants and occupying the sites of 
their missions. At any rate, the Bishop took 
up permanent quarters at Minatilla, in a house 
offered by Ta-wai-tu, twenty-five miles south of 
Wailatpu, and in the rear of the flourishing mis- 
sion there. This was on November 27, 1847. 
On November 29, while the mill at Wailatpu was 
running, the school in session, all the artisans at 
their trades, and the missionaries moving about in 
their errands of mercy, several Indians appeared 
upon the scene, headed byTamsaky, who sud- 
denly drew a tomahawk from beneath his blan- 
ket and brained the venerable Dr. Whitman, th« 
head of the mission- 

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In an instant all was confusion within the 
mission grounds. The striking down of Dn 
Whitman was the signal for a general attack by 
the Indians^ who now appeared in all parts of the 
grounds — at the mill, the shops, the chapel and ' 
the schools. The Indians were well armed with 
knives, tomahawks, pistols and Hudson Bay Com- 
pany muskets. The miller fell at his post, bravely 
fighting. The tailor and carpenter went down at 
their benches. The teacher made a brave stand 
at the schoolroom, but was soon numbered among 
the victims. The frightened children fled to 
the loft for hiding, but were soon brought 
down and driven into a huddled mass by a cor* 
don of savages who held them trembling prison- 
ers by threats of shooting. The women who 
had fled for safety to the central mansion and 
had taken refuge in the upper stories, were or- 
dered down in order that the house might be 
fired. The fate of most of them was more horri- 
ble than if they had submitted to being burned. 
Mrs. Whitman and others were foully murdered. 
Many were taken prisoners and carried away 
into bondage. A few managed to escape slaugh- 
ter and captivity for the time being and remained 
in hiding in the houses. 

Night came on and the Indians withdrew to 
their lodges, after finishing their plundering. It 



was a night of terror for the few survivors at the 
mission. Under cover of the darkness, one man 
escaped and made his way to Lapwai. The Os- 
borne family escaped and reached Walla-Walla. 
Several fugitives were caught the next day and 
murdered. The young girls, daughters of teach- 
ers and mechanics, were distributed among the 
braves who had been instrumental in the murder 
of their parents. The destruction of the mis- 
sion was complete. The murder of its numerous 
occupants had been brought about in the most 
eflfective way, showing clearly the existence of a 
well matured plot on the part of the Indians and 
their advisers. 

When word of the uprising and massacre 
reached Oregon Gity, the Governor ordered a levy 
of troops and in twenty-four hours a company of 
forty-two men were on their way to the Dalles, 
where fugitives from all the missions above were 
coming. Here the troops remained for the pur- 
pose of guarding the passage of fugitives and re- 
stored captives to safe places below, while 
awaiting rennforcements, till February 1848. 
Being re-inforced, Captain Lee sent a scouting 
party against the Des Chutes, the nearest of the 
hostiles, which defeated them in a battle on Feb- 
ruary 28. The main body of 160 trooi)s moved 
toward Wailatpu, near which they met a strongj 

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body of Indians. A desperate battle was fought 
in which the Indians lost 20 warriors and 40 
horses, together with all their goods. 

As the troops proceeded, the French Canadian 
leader, Finlay, who managed the massacre at 
Wailatpu, attempted to entrap them by a pretence 
of peace. He had about 500 Indians at his dis- 
posal, and the Americans could only advance by 
keeping close in line. They literally fought their 
way to Wailatpu, where they established a fort 
and called on the adjoining tribes to come in for a 
talk. The Nez Perces and most of the Ca3nises 
came and were prompt to disavow participation in 
the massacre. Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perces, 
promised to deliver up all the murderers found in 
his tribe. Those who remained hostile in the 
neighboring tribes were pursued by the troops 
and defeated in repeated battles. They were 
finally driven into the neighboring mountains 
and back into the Nez Perces country, with the 
loss of many of their warriors and most of their 
cattle. The troops remained at the various forts 
they had* established during the year 1848, and 
the tribes of the murderers were forced to pursue 
a wandering life in the mountain gorges, not dar- 
to return to their homes. This state of affairs 
continued during 1849 ^^^ ^^5^ ^^ ^^ latter* 


year they purchased peace by surrendering five of 
the murderous chiefs, who were tried and hung. 
All the mission houses at Wailatpu were burned 
by the Indians, and to-day mounds of earth mark 
their site. On the hillside is the common grave 
of the victims. The position of the garden is 
marked by a few fruit trees and clusters of the 
flowers planted by those who passed away, ere 
civilization could give them its guarantee of 
peace and safety. 

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Chaptbr in. 


1 I fUILE the Oregon volunteers were still at 
^^ the Dalles in defence of their homes, 
gold was discovered in pa3ring quanti- 
ties at Mormon Island and in Sutter's mill race 
in California. In a trice all California was mad, 
and the gold craze spread all over the United 
States. A flood of emigration by land and sea 
poured into the gold coasts of the Pacific The 
year 1849 became historic and the forty-niner a 
character in the tragedy and comedy of the 

The flood of emigration, the crush of enter- 
prise, the selfishness of greed, the cruelty of 
acquisition, under the circumstances, proved to 
be greater evils for the Indians than even the 
discovery of Columbus and the Spanish occupa- 
tion. Gold miners had no patience with Indians. 
They would ransack the mountains in search of 
claims. They would kill all who interfered with 
their supposed rights. The Indian knew this, 
and as a rule ^^ vacated the ranche'' on a single 
warning. If he stood for his rights, the policy 
of the Government was to get rid of him as 


quickly as possible by buying him out, so as to 
avoid bloodshed. 

Generally speaking the Indians of California 
were not fighters. The Yrekas in the north 
were brave and gave much trouble, but the tribes 
to the south lacked union and spirit The entire 
Indian population did not exceed 30,000, of whom 
not over half were classed as wild Indians. The 
first clash with the California Indians came at 
Mormon Island, and it was instigated by miners, 
who perhaps sought an occasion to teach their 
hostile neighbors what they might expect if they 
did not clear the way for exploration and occu- 
pancy. It was a cruel " set-to" which resulted 
fatally to a number on both sides, but which re- 
suited in impressing the Indians with the con- 
viction that the vicinity of a gold mining camp, 
was the least desirable place in the world for 
their own camps. 

As miners pushed their way into the moun- 
tains and mining camps became thick in the 
gulches and valleys, the difficulties with the In- 
dians increased. Skirmishes became frequent, 
but as a rule the Indians were marauders and 
cattle thieves, rather than open, organized warri- 
ors. They were "pestiferous,** as the mining 
phrase went, and in this respect were Jiore 

objects of malice than if they had been regularly !/> 

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on the warpath. The Governiriexit hearkened to 
the calls for aid to put them down. It could not 
send troops so fiair, but it sent 100,000 arms. 
The miners quickly formed a local militia and 
would, no doubt, have made a war of extermina- 
tion upon the Indians of the Territory, had not 
the Government in a spirit of humanity, hit on 
the plan of treating with them and giving them 
a place on reservations. Most of the tribes took 
their places gladly on reservations, but some of 
the mountain tribes either feared to come in or 
preferred the freedom of their mountain fast* 

These were treated as hostiles, and the impro- 
vised militia of California quickly, made war upon 
them. The California wars of 1851-52 were 
chiefly those brought about by eflforts to catch 
these hostiles and corral them on reservations. 
The hostiles of the San Joaquin Valley were 
hunted down and brought to terms by the cele- 
brated Mariposa Battalion. Jose Rey , chief of the 
ChowchiUas, was defeated in several engagements 
and finally lost his life in a battle which deter- 
mined the fate of his tribe. The Yosemites, or 
"Grizaly Bears,** who lived in the wonderful 
canon valley which perpetuates their name, 
were brave warriors by repute, but when con- 
fronted by the militia they o£fered little resist- 



ance. The wars in and around Sacramento 
Valley amounted to but little more than a sue* 
cession of skirmishes. By 1853 the California 
tribes were pretty generally subdued and driven 
on to the five reservations set apart for them. 
These reservations were badly managed by the 
Government agents, who drew plentiful supplies 
from the Government but gave the Indians none. 
The consequence was the reservations fell into dis- 
repute and were practically abandoned. White 
settlers took mean advantage of the absence of the 
Indians, the latter having been forced into a 
nomadic life and having become more thievish 
and cowardly than ever before. Every Indian 
theft, every attempt on their part to scout and 
hve, or to come back on their reservations to as- 
sert their rights, became a cause for war upon 
them, and it is quite probable that more perished 
in the difficulties which thus arose, than in all 
the prior eflforts to conquer them. Over 150 
Indians were massacred by the white settlers at 
Nome Cult in 1858, the only excuse being that 
they had driven oflF the cattle of the settlers from 
the reservation, because they were consuming the 
acorns on which the Indians depended for food. . 
At King's River the Indians were shot down 
by scores, and driven away because the Govern- 
ment would not support them and ^they had bcL 

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come suiuisance. In these humanitarian efforts 
to exterminate the natives^ the settlers had the 
support of the State militia and there was no 
sentiment against this kind of murder. At 
Mattole Station and Humboldt Bay, similar mas- 
sacres took place and there was no mercy shown 
to a refractory Indian. The next morning after the 
massacre at Humboldt Bay, sixty corpses of In- 
dian men, women, boys and girls, showed how 
impious had been their refus^ to go off to the 
then secluded region of Mendocino. 

The character of the California settlers, gath- 
ered from all the ends of the earth, inspired by 
greed, with a golden stake in hand, was such as 
to mdce the Indian wars of California frequent, 
short and decisive. They were wars which in- 
volved excessive cruelty, yrsxa of extermination. 
The miners were a society by themselves, and a 
unit in their own protection. There was, of 
course, a powerful necessity for protection, as was 
shown not only in their wars with Indians, but in 
those stem measures which became the code of 
justice of their " Vigilance Committees.** They 
were really at war with themselves, and peace 
and the reign of law came only after the rope had 
taught many of their own number, the same 
lessons their shotguns had impressed on the 

Chapter IV. 

THE Indian tribes of Arizona and the line of 
the Colorado River, have ever been an in- 
teresting study. Two large nations, of 
which the Yuma is one, were agricultural 
and peaceful. They came early under the in- 
fluence of the Spanish, and proved useful as a 
bulwark against the fierce and powerful Apaches. 
But there were blendings of these tribes with the 
bolder and wilder Apaches, with the result that 
many degraded tribes arose, which possessed the 
virtues of neither, but fof whose actions one or 
the other of the leading tribes had to be responsi- 
ble. Thus a dangerous and freebooting tribe, 
called Tontos, was allied by birth to both the 
Yumas and Apaches, and if they committed an 
outrage, it was either a Yuma or Apache outrage, 
according to the interest either had in it, or the 
apology offered for it. 

As a rule these tribes, excepting the dreaded 
Apaches, succumbed to the authority of the 
United States, after the Mexican Conquest and 

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the Gadsden purchase, without open war. So 
that while there are no startling records of hostili* 
ties in their midst, there are several thrilling 
accounts of massacres. The one which led to 
the complete subjugation of the Arizona tribes, 
always excepting the Apaches, is a sample of 
many. In 1850 a party composed of eighty em- 
igrants, men, women and children, started for 
Arizona, intending to locate within the protective 
range of Ft Yuma, then a military camp at the 
junction of the Gila with the Colorado. 

By the time this party reached the junction of 
the north and south roads near Santa Fe, they 
became so divided by religious dissensions that 
they split; one faction taking the northern, the 
other the southern route. By the close of the 
year the southern party reached Tucson, where 
they were gladly received by the Mexican citizens, 
who were greatly alarmed at the excesses of 
the Apaches. A part of the party agreed to 
settle there temporarily. The rest, embracing 
three families, the largest of which was the Oat- 
man family, started on across the ^^ ninety mile 
desert** After many escapes from roving 
Apache bands they reached the country of the 
Pimas, where they found rest The Pimas had, 
however) but little food for strangers, and the 
Oatman family, in a spirit of desperation started 



alone for Ft Yuma. After crossing the desert of 
Gila Bend and striking the Gila, the roads became 
almost impassable. 

On a certain day, while struggling with their 
difl&cult situation, unloading their wagon at the 
foot of steep hills and carrying their goods upon 
their shoulders, so that their starved oxen might 
be able to take the empty wagon up, they saw 
evidences of Indians about them. The next day 
as they broke camp, at the head of a little valley 
of the Gila which is to this day known as Oat- 
man Flat^ they were suddenly surrounded by a 
troop of Tonto Indians armed with bows and 
arrows and dubs. Knowing that a show of fear 
would be fatal, Oatman assured his family and 
co-^Uy asked the miscreants to sit down for a talk. 
He passed pipes and tobacco, and each one took 
awhiflfofamity. The Oatman family, mean- 
while, kept up their preparations for the onward 
march as if unconcerned about results. This 
gave the Indians opportunity to gauge the 
strength of the party. They asked for food. 
Oatman told them he had barely enough to sus- 
tain his family till it reached Ft Yuina. They 
did not accept his excuse, but grew clamorous 
and angry. In order to appease them Oatman 
dividedhis little store with them. They demanded 

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more, which Oatman refused, not wishing to rob 
his family entirely. 

The Indians drew off, held a hurried consulta- 
tion, scanned the horizon to see that no help was 
near, and then with wild yells rushed upon the 
helpless family with their merciless clubs. 
Oatman was beaten to the ground and his skull 
crushed by repeated blows of the clubs. His 
son, Lorenzo, a boy of twelve years, received 
repeated blows which rendered him insensible. 
Mrs. Oatman leaped from the wagon and clasped 
her youngest child, a boy of two years, to her 
bosom. The savages dashed upon her and beat 
out the life of mother and child together. The 
daughter Lucy was beaten into a shapeless mass 
and left an unrecognizable corpse on the bloody 
soil. Another daughter of four years, was simi* 
larly dispatched. A brother of six years, was 
the next to fall. Two daughters, Olive and 
Mary, were spared to become captives. After 
the massacre was complete, the camp was plun- 
dered. Seeing signs of life in the prostrate 
Lorenzo, the miscreants stripped him of his 
clothing and threw his body down over a pile 
of rugged rocks. It rolled helpless on to plat* 
form at the base, full twenty feet below, where it 
lay through the following night and until the 
next day. Then consciousness slowly returned. 



He opened his eyes to find the sun shining full 
in his face. He wiped the clotted blood from his 
face, felt that his scalp had been torn oflF, straight- 
ened his crooked and stiffened limbs, and gazed 
about him to find out where he was. The blood- 
stained rocks over which he had been thrown 
told him how he had come there, and soon the 
terrible memory of the day before rushed in on 
his dazed brain. After a painful struggle, he 
gained his feet, and under a frenzied impulse 
crawled up the rocks to the scene of the massa^ 
ere. The broken wagon, the remnants of goods 
strewn around, the ghastly faces of murdered 
parents, brothers and sisters, proved to be too 
much for him. He sank in a faint, and when he 
recovered his only thought was to escape a repe. 
tition of the dreadful sight He dragged his 
pain racked form down toward the Gila, drank of 
its muddy waters, bathed his bruised body therein, 
and then crawled away to a cover, where he passed 
a day and night in sleep. 

Finding himself able to walk with the aid of a 
stick, but being yet too delirious to judge of 
direction, he started he knew not whither. By 
mid-day he reached a pool of warm aud muddy 
water, by the side of which he lay down and drank, 
only to fall asleep again in the sunshine. This 

rest gave him additional strength ai 

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liis jonrneyi still ignorant of the direction bnt 
conscious that he was traversing a barren table- 
land. By nightfall he dropped in a faint from 
which he was aroused by the barking and growl- 
ing of coyotes around him. Starting up with a 
yell and making such demonstration as he could 
with his stick, he drove the hungry beasts back 
and took up his slow and painful march. To his 
horror, he found they were following him. He 
drove them off with stones, but could not escape 
the horrid thought that he might drop down any 
moment through sheer exhaustion and thus be- 
come a prey to them. 

The next day he found himself in the midst of 
a lonely canon, and confronted by two Indians, 
who hastily drew their bows at sight of him. He 
raised his hand in surrender and spoke. They 
proved to be Pimas and friendly. When he told 
them of the massacre, they gave him some food 
and started for the scene, leaving him a blanket 
to sleep on and telling him to remain there till 
they came back. He did not know how long they 
would be gone, so after a refreshing sleep and a 
dread on awakening that they might prove treach- 
erous, he clambored to the plain above and started 
on his unknown journey, taking rest and sleep 
wherever a guarded spot offered itself. One morn- 
ing in looking across the plain he saw objects 




moving. THey were rising an incline and when 
they appeared fully in view on top, he was rejoiced 
to find that they were wagons. He swooned 
through joy, and when he came to consciousness, 
the wagons of the two families left behind in 
Tucson were standing by him. He was refreshed 
with bread and milk, given clothing and his 
wounds were dressed. When he told his terrible 
story his friends retraced their steps to the Pimas, 
until they could be reinforced by other emigrants.. 
These soon came, and then the reinforced party 
made its way to Fort Yuma, where Lorenzo was 
nursed back to health. 

The Indian murderers made their way to the 
north of the Gila with their white captives, Olive 
and Mary Oatman. Their journey northward 
was one of great hardship. They were treated 
with savage crudty and reduced to the condition 
of slaves. In 1851, a party of Mohaves visited 
the camp of the captors, and became the purchasers 
of the captives. Their condition was now much 
bettered, though they were still slaves. In a 
short while death came to Mary's relief, and Olive 
was left to bear her fate alone for a period of five 
years. In the midst of her despair at ever being 
rescued or making her escape, she was rejoiced 
one morning at finding a Yuma messenger from 

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the Fort, in the midst of the tribe and with a de- 
mand for her release. 

The rescne came about through Lorenzo. 
When he told his story at the fort, Colonel 
Heintzelman sent out several searching parties 
in vain. Soon after his forces were withdrawn, 
except a guard for the ferry. The Yumas drove 
this guard away and entered into a conspiracy to 
drive all Americans out of Arizona and Southern 
California. Colonel Heintzelman was returned 
with a larger force, and after a year of arduous 
and exciting work succeeded in reducing the Yu- 
mas to subjection and breaking up the conspiracy. 
Meanwhile Lorenzo had gone to California and 
drifted thence to Los Angeles. Here he learned 
that his sisters had been bought by the Mohaves, 
and he tried to interest the authorities in their 
rescue. This was in 1856. One man at Fort 
Yuma, the carpenter there, never lost his interest 
in the captives. He had as a bosom friend one 
Francisco, an Indian, who knew the terrorism in- 
spired in his race by the show of power which 
Heintzelman^s troopers had made. The carpen- 
ter and Francisco talked over the story of the 
captives as Lorenzo had learned, and Francisco 
agreed to rescue them, if the commander at the 
Fort would give him some goods as purchase 
monqr and agree to stand by him. This was 



brought about and Francisco started on his peri- 
lous mission. He held conference after confer- 
ence with the chiefs, who stubbornly refused to 
surrender their captive, till Francisco made known 
to them that final refusal would bring upon 
them the full force of the United States troops, 
and that both Mohaves and Yumas would be 
wiped from the face of the earth. 

They finally yielded to his arguments and 
Olive, after recovering from a faint occasioned by 
joy, was placed in charge of a delegation of the . 
tribe which was authorized to deliver her in 
safety at the Fort, and receive the additional pres- 
ents promised by Francisco. Her arrival was 
greeted by the troops with cheers and firing of , 
cannon. Even the assembled' Yumas, who had 
been trembling lest failure to make the rescue 
should bring on their heads the punishment 
threatened by Francisco, joined in the demonstra. 
tions of joy. 

There was soon a more aflFecting meeting. 
Lorenzo was sent for to come to the Fort. Ten 
days of hard riding brought him to the embrace of 
his long lost sister. Tears streamed down the 
cheeks of the sturdy witnesses of a meeting 
which recalled the bloody separation of five years 
before, and th^ hardship and despair of everv 
moment since. The two lived in Califomia fo^^ 

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4t A YUMA MA88ACIt& 

some years and then went east Francisca was 
made a chief by the Yumas, at the instigation of 
the whites. But he never secured their confi- 
dence, and could not prevent the Yuma and 
Mohave conspiracy, in 1857, against the Pimas 
and Maricopas, in which nearly all the Yuma 
warriors perished, Francisco himself being 
among them. 


Chapter V. 


I I /hen Oregon was organized as a Territory 
\J^ in 1848, General Joe Lane was made Gov- 
ernor. Oregon was then an immense 
territory, embracing all the lands west of the 
Rocky Mountains, north of 42 degrees of latitude. 
Along its southern border were several tribes of 
hostile Indians— the Rogue Rivers, the Klamaths, 
the Modocs, the Shastas and Umpquas. None of 
these tribes had ever been friendly to the whites. 
The Umpquas had murdered eleven out of a tra- 
ding party of fourteen men in 1834. A trading 
party of eight were attacked by the Rogue River 
Indians in 1835, and four of them killed. The 
Klamaths attacked Fremont's exploring expedi- 
tion in 1845, and killed three of them before 
Kit Carson's skill could baffle the onslaught in 
a hand to hand conflict. 

In 185 1, the Rogue River Indians became so 
bold in their excursions, and these had become 
so frequent and deadly, that the Government 
was compelled to intervene. It sent Major Phil. 
Kearney to the scene, with a detachment of 

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t^^^ars. After manoeuvreiiig for some time, he 
succeeded in bringing on an engagement in 
which he administered an unmerciful drubbing 
to the enemy. But this was not sufficient They 
mustered new forces and courage, and stood for 
a second attack. This time Kearney resolved 
that the lesson of defeat should be efifective. He 
got his men in good position, kept them well in 
hand and fought them so determinedly, that the 
enemy took to hasty flight toward the mountains, 
leaving a large number of their squaws and 
papooses in the hands of the victors. Governor 
Lane made the return of the captives the con* 
ditions of a peace which lasted for two years. 

But the neighboring tribes were not so easily 
pacified. The Pitt River tribe massacred the 
engineers of a wagon road in 1852, and in 
the same year the Modocs attacked and shot 
down an emigrant party of thirty-three persons. 
This was the signal for open hostilities, and 
volunteer companies were organized and ordered 
to rendevous at Tule Lake. On the arrival of a 
California company a bloody battle took place, 
the Indians being on the lake in their canoes. 
They fought savagely but at a decided disadvan** 
tage, and were soon forced to retire out of range 
of the riflemen on the shore. The next day the 
victon discovered the remains of many murdered 



emigrants on the shores of the Lake. 

Soon the California force was augmented by 
Oregon companies, and together they held the 
ground for many months, affording protection 
to emigrants and making occasional raids on 
the hostiles. However necessary this campaign 
may have been, its close brought no credit to the 
white soldiers. It is narrated that Captain 
Wright, who commanded the California forces, 
invited the Modoc warriors to a feast at which 
he tried to poison them. Finding his ruse a fail- 
urehe turned the feast into a talk, amid which 
he grew angry and shot down two of his guests 
with his revolver. At this signal, his men rose 
up and fired their freshly loaded rifles into the 
assemblage, killing thirty-six outright The 
remainder made their escape, but with such 
memory of treachery as that in future years, 
many times that number of white soldiers had to 
offer their lives in payment, and the Government 
had to forfeit millions of dollars for campaigning 


On the return of Captain Wright to Yreka, 
he was welcomed by the citizens, but his venge- 
ful visitation was not forgotten, for four years 
afterwards he was set upon by the Rogue Rivers 
at his agency and killed, together with 23 of his 

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men. Hi, bad faith bo« its fruits with the 
entire Modoc people for years. 

In California and Oregon, in those days the 
Government did not recognize the right of tlie 
Indian to toeat for the sale of lands or for a reser- 
vation. The whites could squat where they 
pleased, do what they pleased, provoke war 
It they pleased and then call upon the 
troops for protection. As a rule the Oregon 
- Indians were not unfriendly. The Whitman mas. 
saoe was almost the only serious demonstration 
of hostility they had made. But when they saw 
their lands taken without compensation and their 
treaties nullified, they lost confidence and hecame 
more and more hostile. The Rogue Rivers 
became particularly irritable in 1853, and carried 
on almost constant war in their valley. General 
Lane was sent against them and fought a doubt- 
ful battle with a large force near Table Rock. He 
secured a treaty which lasted but a short while 
for mutual murders soon became the rule and 
massacre followed massacre in quick succession. 
It was evident, from the standpoint ofthe whites, 
that nothmg but closely organized effort would 
suffice to teach the Indians the lesson they 
•eemedtostandianeedof The Indians, on the 
«her hand having a common grievance, and" 
bemgactuated by a common dread of losing 



their lands altogether, through the encroachment 
of the whites, began to combine their strength. 
Leschi, a Nasqualla chief, preached a crusade 
against the whites, among all the tribes from the 
British borders to California, and infected them 
all with his hostility, except the Nez Perces. 

The impatient tribes of the North opened the 
contest in 1855. The Yakimas murdered a party 
interested in coal mining on the Dwamish. The 
Indian agent at the Dalles was murdered by the 
same tribe. Two forces were sent against them, 
to be united in their country, but before they 
could unite, one of them was set upon, and driven 
back. The other was surrounded in a disadvan- 
tageous position, and only succeeded in escaping 
after great hardship. A stronger force 0/350 
regulars was organized and sent forward under 
Major Rains, but it could make no impression on 
the wily foe. 

In the south, the whites were to blame for pre- 
cipitating war by a cowardly attack on Old Sam's 
band of friendly Rogue Rivers, and the murder 
of several old men and helpless women and 
children. This foolish and cruel action inflamed 
the entire tribe, and as a consequence it began a 
campaign of indiscriminate burnings and mup> 
ders, the most noted of which was the "Wagoner 

massacre." The troops, whetb 

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militia, retaliated in kind, and a warfare so indis- 
criminate and brutal as that which followed has 
never disgraced our annals. This was equally 
true in the south and in the north. The per- 
vading policy on the part of the whites was In- 
dian extermination, now and forever. The wars 
of 1855 s^^ ^^ lustre on the arms of the whites. 
They only served to force the Indians into closer '' 
union and inspire them with a burning desire 
for revenge. 

A change of policy came under General Wool 
who was made commander of the Department 
of the Pacific. He did not believe in the policy 
of extermination, nor in the employment of State 
volunteers, mostly settlers, who had their private 
grievances and revenges. He concentrated his 
army of regulars at Fort Vancouver, used a part 
of them for the protection of friendly Indians 
against white aggressors, and disposed the re- 
mainder so as to render warfare intelligent and 
void of brutality. But the State volunteers made 
capipaigns on their own responsibility and with 
continued loss of prestige. The bitterness be* 
tween the policies of extermination and of civil* 
ired wzx&xe was nearly as great as that between 
the red and white foemen. As a result of the 
dash between the two policies, neither regulars 





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nor volunteers did anjrtliing of importance, "while 
the Indians secured several successes. 

On February 22d. 1856, while the volunteers 
were attending a " Washington Birthday ball" 
on Rogue River, they were surprised, and Captain 
Wright and 23 others were killed. All the ranches , 
on the river were sacked and burned. Later on, 
General Wool got his forces in hand. He passed 
the Cascades of the Columbia on his way to the 
Dalles, leaving at the Middle Cascades a small 
force. Scarcely had he passed, when the Indians 
attacked this force, protected by the block house 
there, and kept up an unequal battle for a 
day and a night, murdering, meanwhile, all the 
citizens they found in exposed places. Word of 
this "Cascade Massacre" reached Colonel Wright, 
in command of the advanced forces, and he re- 
turned to find that even the friendly Cascade 
Indians had turned against the whites and had 
induced the massacre. The leaders were tried by 
court martial and hung. 

Colonel Wright then advanced again, leaving 
a stronger force at the Cascades, under Lieuten- 
ant Phil. Sheridan. Colonel Wright soon met the 
hostiles, of many tribes and in a force estimated 
at i,200 warriors. His own force did not exceed 
475 eflFectives, but it was well supplied and held 
a position which cut the Indians off from the 

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river and the lands they had depended on for 
subsistance. Neither party cared to risk an open 
engagement The summer passed in a series of 
parleys, in which many chiefs surrendered and 
agreed to live in peace. 

The troops in the south were pursuing a simi- 
lar policy, though with a more pugnacious foe. 
Chief Jolm^s band of Rogue Rivers surrounded 
Captain Smith's force of 90 men, supported by a 
howitzer, and would have compelled their sur* 
render, with the massacre it implied, had not a 
timely reinforcement come to the rescue and 
dashed into the besiegers, routing them with 
heavy loss. All the while, the friendly Indians 
were being gathered on to reservations, which 
began to grow in favor as an asylum for such 
hostiles as were tired of warfare. John's band 
surrendered on condition that it should escape 
punishment and be given a place on a reserva- 
tion. This action was followed by a surrender 
of nearly all the Lower Rogue Rivers on the 
same terms. The northern tribes caught the 
spirit of surrender and readily found places on 
lands dedicated to them forever. Military sta- 
tions ivere established among the tribes, each 
well equipped and officered, and with instructions 
to deal £rmly but justly with all within their 



i ' 




Bv I8S7 peace reigned throughout the Oregon 
reeion. «id more had been accomplished toward 
bringing it about in the last y^^^'"" *^^ 
two ytL before. While the loss of life had not 
been as great as in some other Indian wars, the 
destruction of property had been enormous. 
Costly as it had been to the settlers, it was even 
more so to the Government. 

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Chapter VI. 

SHE Arrapalioes are native to tbat immense 
tract east of the mountains and between 
the Platte and Arkansas Rivers. The. 
Cheyennes were driven into the same region from 
the east of the Mississippi by the powerful Sioux. 
The Sioux themselves came to occupy the country 
north of the Platte. All of these tribes are 
strong and warlike. They are made up of sev- 
eral smaller tribes, the Sioux alone embracing 
seven families or tribes. 

From the earliest days of settlement west of 
the Mississippi these Indians made war on the 
whites. In 184 1 a battle between trappers and 
the combined warriors of the Cheyennes and 
Sioux was fought on Snake River, with terrible 
loss on both sides. Fremont, on his several ex- 
peditions, found them hostile, but avoided trouble 
by threatening them with the vengeance of the 
^^Great Father'' in case they molested him. In 
1845, Colonel Kearney awed them into good be- 
havior by an ostentatious parade of his dragoons 





and howitzers. In 1847, the Kio\m, Apaches, 
Pawnees and Comanches were in coalition 
against the whites. They asked the Cheyennes 
to join, but they were intimidated by the timely 
arrival of two cavalry, companies under Colonel 


In 1854 a coalition was formed of Cheyennes 
and Arrapahoes, and war broke out, begun by the 
Sioux. The first engagement was with Lieuten- 
ant Grattan and his command near Fort Laramie. 
A force of Brule^ioux warriors under their chief, 
Bear, were fired upon by Grattans's, soldiers who in 
turn were exterminated. The Indians menaced 
Fort Laramie for a few days, but departed on the ar- 
rival of reinforcements from Fort Riley; Bear was 
killed, and his successor was Little Thunder, a 
daring chief, who never failed to strike the whites 
a blow when opportunity occurred. He destroyed 
several mail parties and killed Captain Gibson 
and many of his men. In 1855, General Harney 
marched from Fort Leavensworth with 1300 men 
to the scene of hostilities. The General was an 
uncompromising Indian hater and fighter, and 
he came to teach them a lesson. He reached 
Fort Kearney in safety, and continued his jour- 
ney to Ash Hollow, where he learned that the 
Brules were encamped in force. Harney pre- 
pared for an attack. He sent a cavalry force to 
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cut off tlie rear of tbe Indian forces, and then ad* 
vanced with his infantry. When Little Thunder 
came forward to parley, Harney received him 
coldly. Little Thunder returned to his warriors, 
who soon discovered that their retreat was cut off. 
Amid the commotion which followed this discov- 
ery, Harney ordered his infantry to advance fir- 
ing. They dashed forward with wild yells, and 
mowed down the Indians as they rushed onward. 
The Indian forces could not withstand the furious 
onset and broke fleeing to the bluff, leaving be- 
hind all their traps. The cavalry pursued them 
and kept them in disastrous flight for eight or 
ten miles, killing many. The Indian losses num- 
bered over an hundred, many of whom were women 
and children. Their loss of tents, provisions, 
robes and utensils was total. Such a blow had 
never been struck at these powerful tribes of the 
plains and the lesson was valuable. They sur- 
rendered the murderers they were harboring, and 
agreed to be peaceable in the future. Harney 
was censured for killing women and children, but 
justified himself in the eyes of his accusers, and 
was promoted by President Buchanan. 

Though this blow crushed the Sioux, it had no 
effect on the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes. The 
Kansas political troubles were now on, and the 
troops were needed in that Territory in 1856. 




Immunity from punishment made these tribes 
bolder. They kept up constant war on emigrants 
and mail parties. At length a company under 
Captain Stuart met a marauding force near Fort 
Kearney and defeated it with heavy loss. This 
seemed to incite the Indians to worse barbarities, 
andattacks and murders were frequent all through 
1856. In 1857 a large cavalry force under Col- 
onel Sumner was sent against them. He came 
upon a force of 300 Indians in the Valley of Solo- 
mon's Fork, and immediately charged them. 
The Indians broke and fled, but escaped after a 
five-mile chase, owing to the freshness and fleet- 
ness of their ponies. The losses on either side 
were not heavy, but the eflfect of the scare 
was to break the Indian force up into small parties 
and thus prevent danger from organized action. 

There was comparative quiet in the Cheyenne 
and Arrapahoe region for two or three years, 
when the Government was relieved of all responsi- 
bility for keeping peace, by the arrival of settlers. 
The cry of gold discovery in the Rockies brought 
thither a flood of adventurers, similar to the influx 
into California in 1849. *^^^^ promiscuous and 
rude adventurers commanded a respect from the 
Indians which the Government could not enforce. 
Inside of three years, there were 80,000 whites in 

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6j war with thb chbybmkbs. 

ganized war on the part of the Indians, yet, strange 
to say, of a kind of whom the Indians never com- 
plained* It may be that their engagements in the 
past with the forces of the United States, had im- 
pressed them with the futility of contending 
against skill and numbers, but it is more than 
likely that geography had more to do with it than 
force. The gold hunters occupied the region which 
divided the mountain tribes from those of the 
plain, so that hostiles on either side sought their 
friendship and thus acquired arms and ammuni- 
tion with which to fight each other. 

In 1861, the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes made a 
celebrated treaty with the Government in which 
they gave away the most desirable of their lands to 
Colorado settlers, and in addition the right of the 
public to lay out roads and highways across their 
own lands. They never dreamed that they had 
given the right to build a railroad through their 
country. But when the Kansas Pacific projectors 
began to invade the reserve lands with its rails, a 
new cause of hostility was found, and the troubles 
of 1864 began. 


Chapter VIL 

THE Navajos dwell in the northwest angle of 
New Mexico and the northeast angle of 
Arizona. They were ascribed to the fierce 
Apaches by the Spaniards, but are really 
a link between them and the better civilized 
Pueblos, ifnot descendants of the latter. They are 
a well proportioned, finely grown, fair counten- 
anced people, who dwell in grass covered huts, 
and devote themselves to pasturage and crude 
agriculture. They dress better than the average 
Indian and go armed with lance and shield very 
like ancient Grecians or Romans. They manufac- 
ture all their clothing and blankets, and the latter 
are a wonder for beauty of design and artistic 
finish. They are acquainted with the smelting 
of metals and the production of pottery. 

In war they do not scalp an enemy, and in 
taste are like the Jews in the respect that they 
abhor bear and hog meat They respect their 
wives, and womankind is not subject to drudgery 
as with other Indians, though young girls unite 

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the part of shepherd with that of weaving. 
Their only, god, Whai^la-hay, is a female, to 
whom their knowledge of weaving and pottery 
is due. The one condition of salvation is that 
the deceased has treated his wife well. They 
numbered 20,000 beings when their territory was 
acquired by the United States, and 2,000 war- 
riors. They had no government, but seemed to 
be an aggregation of peaceful families, each left 
to do as it pleased. When our Government 
came to treat with them it found nothing to treat 
with, and when it imposed such terms as seemed 
necessary for future amicable relations there was 
no body to make it binding. Moreover they 
indulged the infatuation that they were superior 
in numbers to the white race. In addition they 
had fought Spaniards and Mexicans for centuries 
and with success. Under all these conditions 
it was easy for the United States to make a mis- 
take in dealing with them. This mistake it did 
make when General Kearney assumed that in 
conquering New Mexico, and engaging in gen- 
eral stipulations he had also treated with the 

While a detachment of our troops were visit- 
ing the Rio Grande region, magnifying their 
strength and sealing treaties with a show of force, 
they were suddenly swooped down upon by the 



Navajos and deprived of all their cattle and 
stores. This audacity called for an expedition 
against them. It ientered their country in two 
columns and forced them into submission with- 
out bloodshed; but it no sooner left than every 
Navajo felt at liberty to do as he pleased again. 
In 1847 another expedition was sent against 
them, but it did not even succeed in making a 
treaty. In 1848, another was sent which simply 
repeated the experience of the first In 2849, 
a fourth expedition was fitted out, accompanied 
by a force of 150 friendly Navajos. It joined 
battle with the hostiles in the Canon de Chelly, 
the result of which was the death of a leading 
chief and several warriors. A treaty was made, 
but it proved no more binding than former ones. 
They were at large again as soon as force failed 
to confront them. 

In 1852 Colonel Sumner marched against 
them and built Fort Defiance in the heart of their 
country. This was a master stroke. It impressed 
them with the resources of the whites, and se- 
cured peace for two years. But the plundering 
habits of the tribe reasserted themselves, and 
they grew to be as big a nuisance as ever. The 
tribe as a whole was not to blame, for having no 
internal government it could not restrain its 
vicious members, as its better port^n 

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Its marauders finally grew bold enough to carry 
their depredations and even their murders to the 
very limits of the Fort. Having gathered about 
it in numbers, they were attacked by the troops 
under Colonel Miles and driven off. Colonel 
Miles then pursued them and carried consterna- 
tion through the Navajo country. He was 
attacked in the Canon de Chelly by Indians on. 
the summits, but they could do no harm with 
their arrows. At the mouth of the canon he was 
met by Chief Nak*risk-thaw-nee, with proposals 
of peace. The answer was, " no peace until every 
Navajo murderer is delivered over for trial.** 
The troops moved on, capturing sheep and dev- 
astating corn-fields, and finally returned to the 
Fort loaded with booty. It was thought that this 
devastating warfare would prove more efiective 
than the killing of the foe. But they were pre- 
pared to stand it, for a while at least 

Soon after another expediton of 60 men start- 
ed out under Captain Hatch. It came up with 
the Indians under Sardllo Largo and battle was 
joined. The fighting was fierce for a time but 
finally the chief fell and his followers fled, leav^ 
ing behind six dead warriors and all their camp 
effects. This was the first battle in which the 
Navajos were known to use firearms, which they 
handled awkwardly. The Mormons were held 





responsible for having furnished them with these 
improved weapons. 

Word now came in that the Navajos had been 
induced by the Mormons to join the Pi-Utes in a 
war of extermination against the Americans. 
Colonel Miles, therefore, started on a scout with 
300 men, and on the first day came on a body of 
hostiles which he dispersed, capturing their 
horses and sheep. A detachment of 126 meii 
was sent to attack Ka-ya*ta-na's camp in a canon 
fifteen miles distant. They charged down the 
steep sides of the canon, stampeded the Indians, 
and captured 20 horses and 4000 sheep. 

It was now clear that the Navajos could not be 
reduced by numbers, for no numbers could be 
effective in their broken country. The hostiles 
could not be brought to a stand and they were . 
agile in escape. But they were usually accom- 
panied by their herds and of these they could be 
deprived. They were also dependent on their 
fields of wheat and vegetables, and these could 
be destroyed. So it was determined to keep up 
a series of expeditions against them and give 
them no time for repose. With this object in view 
Major Brook circled through their country, fight- 
ing often, but having only one pitched battle, in 
which the Ihdiauj lost 25 warriors. In return 
for this the Navajos attacked the front herd andjp 


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succeeded in killing two men and running away 
with 64 horses and mules. This induced Colonel 
Miles to start with 260 soldiers and 150 volun- 
teer Zani against the hostiles, who Were found 
and attackedi with the loss of few men and the 
capture of 250 horses. A similar expedition 
under Lieut Howland made even a larger cap- 

More extensive scouts were planned and ready 
to start, when the Navajos sued for peace. This 
kind of warfare was more than they could stand, 
they could not be ever running about to escape 
destruction, while their flocks and means of sub- 
sistance were being gradually lost to them. 
Satisfactory terms were agreed upon and such a 
peace as could be had with the disjointed Navajos 
was ratified. 

This peace lasted, Mrith unimportant interrup- 
tions, till x86i, when it was broken by the fight 
at Fort Fauntleroy. This was a scrimmage 
between the soldiers and Indians at a horse race, 
at which animosities were engendered which led to 
an attack by the soldiers and a massacre of sevenil 
Navajos, including their women and children. 
When it was seen that the soldiers were to blame 
peace messengers were sent to the Indians, but 
they returned with the response that the Navajos 
had given Uiem a severe flogging. This of course 



meant war. A force was sent against them and 
a battle ensued, in which the hostiles suflfered 
severely. A temporary peace was patched up, 
only to be broken by raids and stealings; to all 
requests to come to permanent terms they invar- 
iablly answered, "You,** (the whites), ** keep us 
in such a state of tumult, we cannot raise cattle 
or crops on which to live, therefore we are forced 
to steal.** In a year (1861^2), they drove oflF 
100,000 head of sheep, 1,000 head of cattle, 
besides horses and mules. They also killed 
many persons without regard to age or sex. 

In September, 1862, a formidable militia force 
was organized against them, with a view to ex- 
termination, but its operations were checked by 
the Government, because such a force never 
stopped to discriminate between friendly and 
hostile Indians. At length General Carleton 
decided to apply the reservation policy; he said, 
" they have no internal Government with which 
to make a treaty binding. They are patriarchal 
like Abraham of old, oiie set of families may 
promise, another may violate. They understand 
force, butif force be removed they become lawless. 
They should be collected in groups away from 
their mountains and hiding places, and should 
be taught to read and write, and to know the 
truths of Christianity.** Bravdy saidL but the 

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NAVAjQ Bosnunsa 

^culty was to get at these agile people, or if 
that were poss^le, to separate the hostiks^from 
the peaceful. He notified them of his project 
and gave them till a certain day to aoipt, all ' 
who failed were to be regarded as hostile. 
A large number accepted. Against the rest 
* f^.J«* Jeered to operate. Every marauding 
expedition of Navajos was followed up by troops. ' 
wiA orders to kUl all warriors in arms, and to 
hold women and children as captives. These 
orders were stricdy obeyed. But such was the 
agility of the Indians that only one of their par- 
ti^ of 130 members, was captured in 1863, not- 
withstandmg the fact that the famous Kit (irson 
had a host of troopers at his backi It was deci- 
ded diat really littie could be done till winter 
when they would be forced to seek the security of 
the canons for the purpose of saving their stock. 
A^ ^' rendezvous would then be the Canon 
de Oielly one of the most remarkable natural 
wonders in the United Sutes, its approaches 
being secure and its walls lined by ancient cliff, 

Fortius Canon Colonel Carson started in Jan. 
2864, with 390 men, having sent one company to 
operate from the eastern end. After a hard march 
through the snow, they reached the canon and 
attacked the guard to its approach, killing eleven 


ludians and capturing several squaws and chil- 
dren. He then disposed his forces so that they 
might descend the canon, but was surprised to 
find that the force destined for the eastern en- 
trance had traversed the entire length of it, 
without even so much as a battle, the enemy 
having taken the alarm and scampered to the 
heights through ways known only to themselves. 
Still the eflFect of the expedition was fully felt by 
the hostiles. They were on the borders of star- 
vation and ready for terms. The only conditions 
were that they should consent to removal to the 
reservation at the Bosque. These terms were 
readily accepted and Carson's expedition was 
practically at an end. Carson*s command con- 
sisted af a,ooo picked men. He chose the right 
season for his expedition and used his forces so 
as to hem the hostiles in completely. Their 
surrender was almost as a nation. In a single 
magnificent operation, and with the killing of 
but few, he gathered in 10,000 Indians — ^the 
largest single capture on record. Those who 
remained out quickly responded to the, now well 
known, overtures, and the resources of the Gov- 
ernment were taxed to the uttermost to find 
support for them. Port Canby was disbanded in 
August and Kit Carson was sent to the plains to 

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fight Kiowas and Comaiiclies» an^ the Navajo 
wars were at an end. 

These interesting Indians had tried the experi- 
ment of reservation life in good faith, bnt they 
had become dissatisfied with the repeated failure 
of their crops. In 1868, General Sherman and 
Colonel Tappan visited them as a Peace Com- 
mission. They report that the reservation of 
Bosque Redondo had been badly chosen, owing 
to its sterility of soil, and that no agriculturist 
could make a living there. They recommended 
that the Navajos be removed to a reservation 
nearer their old home and with better advantages. 
This was done, and since then their condition 
has steadily improved. In 1876 the Navajos 
were reported as self-supporting. Since then 
th^ have been given additional lands, owing to 
increase in population and herds. 



Chapter VIII. 

THE Indians who lived in the great Utah 
Basin or who used it as part of their tramp- 
ing grounds, were of the Shoshone stock, 
and embraced the Snake, Bannock and Ute 
families. These families were again sub-divided 
into tribes with various names, more or less fan- 
ciful. As a rule, they were not unfriendly to the 
whites, though not disinclined to war under the 
provocations which frequently arose. The Mor- 
mons had no trouble with them, because they 
approached them as equals and without a desire 
to force their civilization upon them. They had 
great power over them, for the reason that they 
stood up for them, when the United States 
attempted to execute its authority among them. 
It may be said that the Mormon influence over 
them was bad, in so far as it represented antag- 
onism to the Government. 

It is not our purpose to narrate how bitter 
Mormon antagonism became in 1856, nor to dis- 
cuss the wisdom of that costly and useless vpPf^ 

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sion of their country by tlie Army of tbe United 
States, Imt this invasion produced the greatest 
excitement in all Mormondom. It fanned the 
flames of religious and political passion till they 
broke out in various forms. In that year there 
passed through Salt Lake a large emigrant train, 
composed mostly of Arkansas families, on their 
way to Southern California. These emigrants 
encamped for several days at Salt Lake where 
their numbers were largely increased by Gentile 
accessions, and by some Mormons who had become 
dissatisfied with their religion. 

When the emigrant train started on, it was 
denied supplies in the Mormon settlements, was 
treated as an intrusive and dangerous mass, and 
was denounced as the vanguard of such an east* 
cm mob as might soon be expected to come for 
the purpose of sacking the Mormon Zion. The 
train moved rapidly, amid contumely and scant 
food supply, but without thought of direct attack 
on their lives. After crossing the Great Basin, 
they stopped for rest at Mountain Meadows, in 
Southwestern Utah. While enjoying their rest 
here, their camp was suddenly attacked by 
Indians, who fired upon the emigrants as they 
were seated around their fires cooking breakfast 
Seven of their number fell in death at the first 
voUqr, and sixteen were wounded. The rest 




were thrown into confusion, but quickly rallied, 
and having placed their women and children 
under shelter of the wagons, they were soon 
returning the fire with deadly eflFect The Indians 
recoiled, and were held to their bloody work with 
difficulty by their leaders, several of whom were 
recognized as whites in disguise. They shot 
down the cattle of the emigrants, and maintained 
a desultory fire throughout the day and night. 

On the next day the Indians were reinforced, 
and by whites in diguise, supposably Mormon 
allies. The emigrants, meanwhile, were making 
their position strong by chaining their wagons 
together and banking earth against them. Two 
of their number stole out of the valley and started 
to Cedar City for aid. They met three citizens 
of Cedar City on their way, and were attacked 
by them. One of them was instantly killed and 
the other wounded. The wounded man made his 
way back to the emigrant camp, and his story 
revealed the awful fact that whites as well as In- 
dians were their antagonists. In this they were 
confirmed by witnessing a manoeuvering party 
on the divide of the Meadows, composed of fully 
250 men, one third of whom were whites. This 
party decided that the position of the emigrants 
was impregnable. 

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But, surrounded as they were, escape was out 
of the question. Surrender must be a matter of 
only a few days. A council of Mormons had 
been held and it was agreed that the emigrants 
should be decoyed from their stronghold and ex- 
terminated. Lee and Bateman, two Mormon 
leaders, approached the camp with a flag of truce« 
Lee represented to the emigrants that the Indians 
were vexy excited and bent on massacre, but that 
he had gotten them to promise they would injure 
no one who surrendered to the Mormons. Be- 
lieving that the Mormons would protect them, the 
surrender was made. The men were to march 
out unarmed, each one with a Mormon by his 
side, to make the Indians believe he was a captive. 
The wagons, loaded with food, sick and wounded 
were to go ahead. The women and children were 
to follow. The procession passed over the divide' 
in the Meadows and down the slope beyond. A 
Mormon leader, Higbee, is there with a company 
of militia. His appearance is assuring, for his 
company may prove a source of protection in case 
the Indians renew hostilities. But in a twink- 
ling his company wheels, and each member aims 
for the emigrant nearest him. Flash go their 
rifles in concert and down drop the victims of 
their bullets. The Indians rush from their am* 
bush and dash with yells upon the women. The 




horrid work goes on upon the right and left, Lee 
being present everywhere to see that the extermi- 
nation is made complete. The rifle, the toma- 
hawk, the bowie-knife, all do their devilish bid- 
ding, till there is no one left to tell the tale of a 
massacre whose fiendishness is without parallel. 
If it be said it was not inspired by white men, 
and not participated in by them, the answer is, no 
Indian could be so hellishly malignant, however 
much he might be a tool and dupe. The men all 
fell at the first fire. The wounded and the worn- ^ 
en were brained with tomahawks. Some 18 chil- 
dren, too young to babble as witnesses, were 
' taken and distributed among the Mormon fami- 
lies. The property of the emigrants was divided, 
one part went to the Indians, the other was sold 
for the benefit of the Mormon Church. The date 
of the massacre was Sept. 1 1 , 1S57. 

For months and years this massacre gave occa- 
sion for discussion and investigation. The Mor- 
mon leaders charged it to the Indians, who had 
been excited by the hostility of the whites. Even 
admitting that whiles had participated in it 
they too had been wronged. The Church, as a 
Church, had nothing to do with it. On the other 
hand, it was contended that the whole thing was 
actuated by the Church, and bore evidence of its 
action. The fects never i^?'^^.^^^^^^^^ 

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reached, for the Mormons had hushed the lips of 
those who might have convicted them, with their 

In 1859 Captain Campbell passed through the 

Meadows and buried the remains of lao men, 

women and children. The Mormons showered 

honors upon Lee and the other leaders in this 

dastardly aflfain Years afterwards they were 

brought to trial. The first trial was a farce. The 

second one was even a worse farce, in the respect 

that the shrewder Mormons felt that Lee must be 

sacrificed in order to save themselves. He was 

found guilty of murder, and was shot to death on 

the'scene of the massacre, where he confessed to 

having killed five of the emigrants with his own 

hands. He died cursing the leaders who had 

deserted him, but professing faith in his x^gion. 

He was not a victim to justice, but was as much 

murdered by his accomplices as if they had fired 

the last fiUal volley. 


Chapter IX. 

IN 1858, the Spokanes and other tribes in 
Washington Territory grew uneasy over 
the approach of white settlers in the neigh- 
borhood of the Colville mines. Though they 
could safely boast that they had never shed the 
blood of white men, an expedition against them 
was deemed necessaxy. Colonel Steptoe started 
with 157 men and two howitzers for the Spokane. 
When crossing the prairie which borders the 
Ingossomen Creek, he was suddenly confronted 
by i,aoo warriors — Spokanes, Pelouses, Coeur d* 
AUenes and Yakimas. They tried to provoke an 
attack, but the Colonel avoided a- collision till he 
found the cover of a ravine. Here he held a 
conference which ended in satisfactory explana- 
tions. This was what the Colonel most needed, 
for it gave him opportunity for a safe and honor- 
able retreat 

But it so happened that an impulsive Chief, 
Mil-kap^i, had not been consulted, he rushed 
upon the Colonel's rear guard with his b^Adiu^ 

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Opened fire. The fire became general on the part 
of the Indians, and many of the white troops 
fell. Colonel Steptoe was forced to relinquish 
retreat and form for battie. He did so, on the 
most advantageous spot he could find, but only to 
be surrounded on three sides by Indians, Spok- 
anes on the north, Coeur d' Allenes on the east, 
and Pelouses on the west, all of whom kept up an 
incessant firing. At night-fall it was decided 
that the position could not be defended, and that 
safety lay only in stealthy and rapid retreat 
The howitzer and useless guns were buried, the 
wounded stock was killed, all provisions and 
accoutrements, except what each soldier could 
lightly carry, were abandoned. Under cover of 
the darkness the soldiers filed down the hill at 
the rear, and plunged off in rapid flight, never 
stopping till they reached the Snake river, 90 
miles below. 

This affair threw the settlements into the 
greatest consternation, for the fact that so peace- 
ful a.nation as the Spokanes had uprisen, gave 
evidence of a great grievance and a general wan 
Investigation showed that the Indians had been 
influenced by the Mormon statement that Jesus 
Christ had appeared eastward of the mountains, 
.and his coming might soon be expected on the 
wcstwanL Accordingly, General Clarke, Com- 




mander on the Pacific, issued orders that all 
Indians be detached from Mormon influence. 
This was all the more necessary, because the 
Indians were found to be well provided with arms 
and ammunition, which they could have gotten 
only from Mormon traders, or from the posts of 
the Hudson Bay Company. Investigation also 
showed that the Indians were dissatisfied with 
the failure of the Government to approve and 
carry out the various treaties which had been 
lately made. This was true of the friendly In- 
dians; but, on the other hand, the wilder tribes, 
were opposed to any and all treaties, for they 
felt they would curtail their privileges. 

So discontent, whose sources were both within 
and without, grew apace. The conviction arose 
that the Indians must be punished and General 
Clarke prepared for this. His ultamatum was 
that the Spokanes and other friendly tribes drive 
all the hostiles from their midst, restore the prop- 
erty taken from Colonel Steptoe, and surrender 
all who fired on his command without the con- 
sent of the chiefs. The reply came that they 
did not want to fight, but would not deliver up 
their neighbors. Colonel Wright moved with 
the main column of the gathered forces from 
Fort Walla Walla. Another column had its 

base at Fort Simcoe on the Yakima* . -^ Jj^JLT ^ 

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was made with the Nez Perces, and 30 of their 
number inlisted as volunteers. Wright^s column 
moved with 570 regulars, 30 Indian scouts, 100 
• teamsters and two howitzei^. They built Fort 
Taylor on the Snake, and garrisoned it. The 
main body again marched to Four Lakes, where 
they found the Indians in force. Colonel 
Wright threw two companies in the rear and 
charged their front with four other companies. 
The Indians fled over the hill and across the 
plain beyond, many of their number being shot 
down by the riflemen who had gained the cover 
of a small piece of woods. 

The pursuit was kept up the next day, aud 
the Indians were found again in front of a stretch 
oftimber, they having set the prairie grass on 
fire to stop their pursuers. Under cover of the 
smoke they opened fire on the troops. A charge 
through the flames was ordered and the Indians 
were forced into the timber. The howitzers opened 
on them and they were forced to flee, being 
pursued closely by the troops. For seven hours 
Oie runmng fight was kept up and the distance 
traversed was 14 miles. The troops did not 
sufler much from the Indian fire, but the Indians 
lost two of their chiefs and many warriors. 

The Indians were much discouraged and called 
forai)ftrley- CoL Wright demanded absolute 

surrender. Some of the chiefs favored it, and 
brought in the offenders in their tribe. Others 
opposed. The Col. then continued his pursuit 
up the Spokane. He found that parties of In- 
dians were running their stock off into the 
mountains. These he attacked and captured 800 
horses. This was a worse blow to the Indians 
than a victorious battle would have proved, for 
horses were almost their sole wealth. 

Col. Wright next moved across to the mission 
on Coeur d* Allene River, where he met 400 In- 
dians in council. Here his conditions of surren- 
der were accepted. He then marched to Lahto, 
where he met the Spokanes in council. They 
were treated with on the same terms a:s the Coeur 
d* AUenes, and gave promises of permanent good 
behavior. Meanwhile Major Gamett had fought 
a victorious battle on the Yakima with thcPelou- 
ses, and had brought them to terms. In all these 
treaties Col. Wright insisted strenously on the 
surrender of those Indians who had offended the 
laws of their tribe and the country, by waging 
war without the consent of their chiefs, by mur- 
dering and pillaging and by stealing cattle. He 
secured a large number of culprits in this way and 
had them properly punished. This campaign, so 
effective of peace, was remarkable in the fact that 

it embraced, two battles, several ski^misl 

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loss of many Indian warriors, the captnrc of over 
looo horses, the destruction of large quantities of 
Indian supplies, the punishment by death of 14 
murderers and robbers, the surrender of three 
powerful tribes, the giving of numerous hostages 
for good behavior, all without the loss of a single 
white soldier killed in battle. 

Chapter X. 


SHE Apaches have resisted the whites more 
stubbornly than any other Indian tribe. 
They have had desert, rock and mountain 
to aid them. They have proven brave, 
cunning and fleet There is no atrocity they 
have not committed and none they have not been 
subjected to. They have terrorized a country 
larger than five average States and have come to 
be regarded as the most savage and treacherous 
dwellers on the soil of the United States. 

They originally embraced nine tribes, or fami- 
lies, whose territory was in New Mexico and 
Arizona, with margins south into Mexico and 
north to the Ute country. The Mexicans never 
gained any control over the Apaches, with whom 
they were perpetually at war. Apaches were 
always a terror to emigrants passing over the 
'•outhem routes to California. They never 
attacked but by surprise. Yet when settlers 

first went into New Mexico to stop perm^entlf J 

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Strange to say^ the Apaches let them alone, for 
they saw in them prospective allies against the 
Mexicans, whom they mortally hated. 

In 185Z the Apaches murdered a mail party of 
1 1 men. The offending band was captured and 
isolated on a reservation .In 1853, they attacked 
and almost annihilated Lieutenant Davidson's 
command of 60 men. Immediately a large force 
of troops was thrown into the midst of the offend- 
ing tribe and it was forced to sue for peace. In 
1854-55 the Government was at war with the 
Apaches, southeast of the Rio Grande, who siu> 
rendered only after receiving severe punishmenL 

The eastern Apaches made no general war on 
the United States till the outbreak of the 
Southern Rebellion, but the western Apaches 
seemed never to cease their marauding expedi- 
tions and piratical warfare. At the opening of 
our civil war the troops were withdrawn from the 
Apache country, and the mail routes were aban- 
doned. The western Apaches took advantage 
of the situation and ran wild in their robberies 
and murders. They seemed to. be everywhere 
and men and women were killed and ranches 
destroyed, even where settlements were thick 
The mining town of Tubac was deserted and 
Tucson dwindled away to a village of 200 people. 


•iaa viSR.cs apaches and arrapahoes. 87 

To add to Ae desperation of the situation tte 
Texts militiainvadaNewMexicoandti|eApaclie 

lunTrTiix the interest of the South. They 
^c'^d Fort Stanton, and made thexr conque^ 
of the country complete for a time,.; But the 
Utes and JicariUa Apaches turned against them 
SoTnSe Mescalero Apaches revolted and earned 
^wttb^vrar agaLt the Confederates and 

S !It^s This condition would have proved 
Sin^^Ne; Mexico and Arizona,but for the 
Sit C Colorado volunteers ^o ^^pnent^th. 
forcTof General Canby. that he was able to 
A- ,Z Texans from the line of the Rio 
Grind? I "he same time General Carleton 
wrpihing a column of 3.000 Califomians 
^tS from Fort Yuma and opening commu- 
^cations with the PaciHc ^^^^^^--:;^^ 


fhey thought impregnable. But the fire ^ 
SLs'mountain ^^^-iUei. demoralized 
them and they fled with a loss of 66 kiUed^^ 

In September, 1862. Carleton reached the Rio 
Gmid^ and relieved Canby.' He^^^^^^^J^ 
his entire attention to the subjugation of the In 
dians. He sent Kit Carson, with five-mpj^ 
to Fort Stanton to operate against the Mesc^eros 
. ^rNavajos. Capt. McCleave was sent directly 

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into the Mescalero-Apache countiy. CapL Rob- 

«ts, wassenttothesamesectionbyanotherroute 
The troops were nearly all Califomians, with no 
love for Indians, especially Apaches. Theywere 
under orders to "kill the men wherever found 
and to take all women and children prisoners.*^ 

Carson reached Fort Stanton without much 
fightmg. McCleave encountered the Apaches 
at Dog Canon, one of their strongholds, and com- 
pletely routed a foree of loo warriors, who beat 
a retreat to Fort Stanton and surrendered to Kit 
Carson. The chief of this band was " Always 
Ready,'' who surrendered with the following 
speech : « You are stronger than we. We have 
fought you so long as we had rifles and powder ; 
but your weapons are better than ours. Give us 
like weapons and turn us loose and we will fight 
you again. But we are worn out ; we have no 
heart, no provisions, no means to live. Your 
troops ue everywhere. Our springs are either 
occupied or overlooked by your men. You have 
dnven us from our last and best stronghold and 
^ wehavenomore heart Do with us as seems 
good to you, but do not foiget that we are men 
and braves. »^ His band was sent to the reserva- 
tion at Bosque Redondo, and it was voluntarily 
followed by hundreds of others of the M-^^calexi 


f ^ 


The attention of the army was now turned to 
the Mimbreno-Apaches. • During the early part 
of 1863, more than forty of their warriors were 
killed. The latter part of the year was devoted 
to conquest of the Navajos. So actively had 
operations been carried on that the Navajos sur* 
rendered almost as a tribe, and in a single year 
over 5000 of them were placed on the Bosque 

In 1864, General Carleton was free to direct 
all his energies against the Western Apaches. 
He had made up his mind that nothing but a 
war of extermination would settle these maraud- 
ers. They moved so rapidly and eluded pursuit 
so successfully by running over the Mexican 
border, that Carleton asked the co-operation of 
the Governors of Sonora aud Chihuahua, which 
was promised. The miners of the respective 
mining towns in Arizona agreed to keep a force 
in the field. The Pimas and Maricopas were 
armed with improved weapons and furnished 
with white officers. Here was a combination of 
foreign and home military, armed miners and 
two friendly Indian tribes against the Apaches, 
and all intent on a war of extermination. 
Carleton said • ^^ the work must be done now and 
effectually, or we shall have a twenty years, war 

onourbands.^^^ I r\r\r^]f> 

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«f ^'/U' '^'^ ''^^ '"^^ ^^^^^ ^^ th« help 
of the Navajos,who yet «mamed unsubdued 

The war was carried on by both sides vrith uure. 

kntm^ fury. Battle after battle was fought, 

^ great loss of life. The loss to our trc^p 

was never fully reported, but as to the enemy 

Inians killed 363, wounded 140, sheep captured 

L^ t tT.%''^''- ^""'^ ^'^ Navajof we« 
AnLw •5'^''* reservation, but the wily 
«^?„ Tf"^ '^^'''''' ^^^y ^^'« "Either 
^^nT' "?" ~«^'^^«'<*' 'h°«gl^ the losses of 
«ops in their sheltered valleys had made them 
poor and disposed them to peace. 

The Apache bosom burned against the one con- 
dibon of surrender which banished them to the 
nT^% "f.^^'f o». They agreed to treat, but 
not mth this alternative as a stipulation. They 
sent four of their chiefs to insect this reser^ 

«^r„M "Tu *^ '^' '"^* ^'^ ^"« of them 
. rehu^ed, and the war wenton. At theclose of the 

^^t^^^ '^' United States, New Mexico fell 
Tt^f.^V^'^' of Missouri, and Arizonainto 
^'f' X^T^"- ^^^1 Halleck had com- 
foStlr*. ^r '^ P^Partment, and he believed 
follyiu the policy of exterminating^he Apaches, 
who were now mostly in Arizona. "It is usel^s 
to negotiate with them," he said, "for the^ 


observe no treaties, agreements or truces. With 
them there is no alternative but vigorous war, 
till they are completely destroyed or forced to sur- 
render as prisoners of war." 

The troops in Arizona were under the com- 
mand of General Mason, and he prosecuted the 
war on the Apaches even more relentlessly than 
before. The white soldiers and citizens excelled 
the Indians in cruelty, and to kill an Indian, on 
general principles, was the comman law of the 
situation. The unprovoked murder of Waba 
Yuma, chief of the Hualapais, drove that friendly 
tribe into hostility, and they proved to be far 
more vicious warriors than the Apaches. The 
Bosque reservation was only designed for tempo- 
rary use. Most of the Indians on it had been 
sent there with the promise that they would be 
provided with larger and permanent reservations. 
The crops failed at the Bosque in 1865. The 
Navajos and Apaches did not agree. Each ele- 
ment claimed the early fulfillment of the Govern- 
ment promise. Each charged the agent at the 
reservation with favoritism. In November 1865 
the entire tribe of Mescalero-Apaches left the 
reservation and went to their own country. This 
meant war, and White Eye fought his tribe for 
several years. When it finally surrendered, it 

sx>t a reservation of its own in its i own countrTr> 

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As the Apache wan continued the Indians 
found out new covers in the mountain fastnesses, 
and their abandoned valleys were occupied by the 
whites. Deserted towns and villages were repopu. 
lated and the mining camps became compara- 
favely safe. Still, the n>ads and trails were full of 
danger, and no one dared venture far from a 

i^K ft,''?''.''^'^/"' *™*- Cattle wert. run 
off by the Indians fix>m farm and ranche. There 
was no telling the moment when these swift 
aarauders would appear. Years of war had only 
add^ to their cunning and their malice. Not a 
single Apache had been thoroughly subdued, ex- 

ri- rrf^.r^^l.^*^^'- 'The policy of extenni- 
nation had been thoroughly tried, and at the be- 
ginning of 1869, many of the army officem were 
wee to confess that it was a failure. 

In April 1869, a permanent Bo^rd of Indian 
^mmi^ioners was formed. It advised a change 

with tbe^ Indians. But General Ord, who had 
come into command on the Pacific, pursued the 
policyofectermination. In that year, he reported 

S^ tL^i^j"*. ^ ^^ ^'"'^ ^y P^tieTwho 
h^fa^led them into their mountain fastnesses. 

la^equantitiesofstoresdestioyed. WhUehewas 
proving the wisdom of his own policy, th^ 


object of legitimate war was being obtained. The 
Indians were learning that they could not escape 
the invading power of the whites, nor forever sub- 
mit to destruction of their property. One tribe of 
Arivapas came in and surrendered to Lieutenant 
Whitman, at camp Grant, and there being no 
reservation for them to go to, he set them to work 
cutting hay for the garrison. In April they 
were set upon by Americans, Mexicans and 
Papago Indians from Tucson and practically 
exterminated, women and children being butch* 
ered as well as the men. This Camp Grant 
massacre raised a whirlwind of excitement among 
all humanitarians, and President Grant sent 
Vincent Colyer to the scene, with power to 
abjust thelndian troubles. He was not welcomed 
by the whites of Arizona, and knew nothing 
of Indin nature — ^at least Apache nature. Yet 
he worked heroically, laid out an extensive plan 
of reservations, and was instrumental in securing 
the removal of many tribes to them. Their site 
was generally illy chosen and the occupants 
lived discontentedly. Many of them were after- 
wards abandoned by the Indians, who left hui> 
gether or were transferred to more favorable sites. 
In 1871 General Crook took command in 
Arizona. He was a noted Indian fighter but not 
an exterminator. He believed in conquering and 

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then treating justly. He said, ^' I am satisfied 
that a sharpy active campaign against the Apache 
will make him one of the best Indians in the 
country and save the government millions of 
dollars. He must either cultivate the soil or 
steal. Our vacillating policy encourages him to 
the latter.*' Colyer was there and was given 
time to try his peace policy. Crook was then 
given full power to proceed, but not wishing to 
clash with the peace commissioners he contenteE 
himself with pursuing and punishing, without 
prosecuting active hostiles. 

At length the Colyer policy was pronounced a 
failure. The hostiles neither came in nor 
remained quiet They made 54 attacks in the 
year 1872, killing over 50 citizens and soldiers 
and stealing 500 horses. Crook then an- 
nounced his intention of punishing the incor- 
rigably hostile. He began operations in a country 
where the enemy was imbued with the hatreds of 
three centuries, where whites were almost as 
barbarous as the Apaches, where criminals from 
other States and Territories had sought refuge, 
where continuous war had doubled savagery, 
where mountain and ravine made pursuit diffi. 
cult, where escape over the Mexican border was 
easy and finaL His winter campaign against the 
TontoSy CoyoteroSy Tampais, and .Hualapais, 




brought them to terms. All of tfjese had fooled 

Colyer and his peace notions. They were once 

«ore placed on reservations where they stiU 

•Remain, except as they were changed for health 

considerations. ... 

Ciook fought Apache with Ap«:he. He enlist- 

ed every friendly he could and thus pursued 
^ith ^knowledge the whites could never have 
r^ired in themselves. His employment of 
Indian police at reservations has since 1^^ 
teneraliradopted. The Apaches were unpressed 
SHhe information that their welfare lay m 
Their own keeping. By making these democratic 
Se agents of the law, they were led to pumsh 
Sefr own evil doers. This was a mighty stnde 
forward. A new era had dawned on the Apaches- 
menever they were friendly they were useful 
Only the renegades were left to be hunted. In 
?87s GovemoT Safford said in his message: 
i At no period in the history of Arizona have our 

Indian affairs been so satisfactory. Qcnewl 
Crook, in the subjugation of the Apaches, has 
su^;Li his formir well-earned mUiUry reputa- 
tion and deserves the gratitude of our people. 
No extermination, no peace; neither vengeano^ 
nor sentimentalism; justice to white and red.- 
ihis.was the Crook policy. 

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But iu 1874 the reservations of Arizona passed 
from the War Department to the Indian Burean. 
The policy, of the latter was that of concentration 
It began to take from the Indians their promised 

lands they had irrigated. Crook refused to coun- 
tenance this injustice, and was removed. Colonel 

^^"l^^TT^"^ ^i?/ ^"' ^^^^ "^ C^°o^'» views 

rts shiftmg of Indians from old to new agencies. 

effect their object The upshot of the newdispen- 
safaon was discontent among the whole of 7he 
tnb^. desertion from the reservations, more 
gnnding tyranny on tiie part of the Bureau 
revolt on the part of the Indians. ' 

oA'fiV^^'*'^^ * «*"^1 breaking up of 
a^l that had been previously established The 
A^hes were abroad in bands, and as predatory 
and dangerous as ever. Every dissatisfied Indian 
helped to augment the forces that skimmed tiie 
Mexi^n borders, now here, killing and stealing ; 
now th«e, buying and murdering. In 1879 
Major l^rrow hunted tiiem incessantly with the 
9ih Cavalry but tiiey dodged him witii tiieacumen 

iJfw f A ~L' ^f "^^ ^°"^^- I» ^««o. Col- 

rt ^,^«i them through all tiie recesses 

of the San Mates, Mimbres and MogoUon moua- 




tains, and Colonel Carr met them only to turn 
them south into Mexico. In this long and desper- 
ate chase, the Indians had no friends and were 
desperate. They killed and plundered indiscrimL 
nately, and whatever their own losses may have 
been they left a three-fold loss in their trail. 

The hostile Apache in Mexico was out of the 
way of American troops, but was not much better 
ofif. He was dangerous wherever he might be, * 
and therefore an object of hatred. But with the 
Mexican side we have nothing to do. The Apache 
returned quick enough and gave our forces some- 
thing to do. His return, however, set people to 
thinking. Might there not be a mistake in dealing 
with him. For a man — even an Indian man — to 
say: ^1 would sooner die than be on such or 
such an reservation, where I shall only perish 
with disease or starvation, might there not be 
provided a congenial reservation. Since the 
claim of the white man was only a theft any way, 
why might not there be consideration enough to 
say to the Indian *eujoy the slice we leave you.* *' 

In x88a, a treaty was concluded with Mexico 
which authorized the pursuit of Indians by the 
troops of the two nationalities across the borders. 
At the same time General Crook was returned to 
his old command iu Arizona. He ^ad common . 
sense, and kept faitl; with the Ii^di^s. Portiiese 

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things they liked him, though many whites did 
not The biggest surrender of the year was that 
of the Indian Bureau to General Crook. He per- 
suaded the discontented Indians to go back to 
reservations and he took care to see that they 
were where they could be happy and useful. He 
next turned his attention to the hostiles, mostly 
over the border in Mexico. They had no homes 
and were incorrigible. They refused every oflfer 
to negotiate. Yet they made their invasions and 
committed their murders. One of their leaders, 
called Peaches, was arrested and induced to lead 
Crook's troops to the Apache stronghold beyond 
the border. It was reached and a battle ensued 
in which the Indians were defeated. A parley 
ensued, at which the renegades agreed to come 
back to a reservation selected by themselves on 
Turkey Creek, near camp Apache. By 1884, 
these were the most industrious and self-supportr 
ing Indians on any reservation. 


Chaptsr XI 


^FTER the Civil war the mountainous 
^4 country between the Continental divide 
I and the plains came into prominence as a 
mining section. The rush thither surpass- 
ed everthing before known in the northwest 
The Alder Gulch region is said to have srielded 
50,ocx>,ooo of dollars in four years. Helena, 
Virginia City, Bozeman and other mining towns 
sprang into existence and were dependent on out- 
side marts for supplies. One route to this new 
Golconda was by the emigrant road through South 
Pass and northward by way of Fort Hall. An- 
other, was by boat up the Missouri and Yellow- 
stone and thence through the Crow Indian 
coutry to the mines. Both of these routes were 
500 miles longer than a direct way would have 
been from Port Laramie to Bozeman. Prepara- 
tions for the opening of a direct way— afterwards 
known as the Montana Road — were begun in 1865, 
and negotiations for the right to pass through 
the intermediate Indian countries were opened. 

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The negotiations would have been easy if the 
Crows alone had been interested, for almost the 
entire country was known as ** the land of the 
Crows," of the Dakota family, a nation of tall, 
well formed hunters and horsemen, who had 
never been, as a nation, hostile to the whites. 
But they had been unmercifully punished by the 
Sioux from the east and north, and had been 
driven from a great part of their native grounds- 
known as the Powder River Country, a natural 
hunting spacefilled with game of all kinds and 
therefore very desirable possessions for any In- 
dian tribe. 

Th^ facts necessitated treaties for right of 
way with not only the Crows, who embraced 
three distinct families, or tribes, but with the 
Sioux, embracing the families or tribes of Min- 
neconjous. Lower Brules, Two Kettles, Blackfoot 
Sioux, Sans Arcs, Oncpapas and Ogallallas. 
The treaties were effected at Fort Sully in Octo 
ber x86s, and they were remarkable, if not sus- 
picious, in the respect that they were signd by 
very few of the leading Chiefs. The Chiefs who 
signed for the Ogallallas had no influence with 
the tribe and their action was repudiated. It 
was so with many of the othew. Even the 
Crows, natund enemies of the Sioux tribes, could 
not be held to their treaties. 



But it is liardly to be supposed that the govern- 
ment thought these treaties would stand, for 
simultaneously with their execution it sent Gen- 
eral Connor into the Powder River Country to 
establish Fort Reno, and punish revolting tribes, 
among whom a powerful anti-treaty sprung up 
rapidly. This sentiment was most powerful 
among the three bands of Ogallallas, whose lead- 
er was Red Cloud, a warrior of rank and great 
influence, who professed ability to communicate 
directly with the Great Spirit, who was his guide 
in all matters of moment Red Cloud, as did all 
the Chiefs of any ^account, realized that the 
building of the Montana highway would destroy 
their favorite hunting grounds and reduce their 
tribes to a dependent condition. He was ably 
seconded in his opposition to the treaties by ^^ Man- 
afraid-of-his-horses,'* another Ogallalla Chief of 
great prominence. 

The Brule Sioux were, as a tribe, hardly less 
antagonistic to the treaties than the rest, though 
their Chief, Spotted-Tail favored them. Spotted- 
Tail had risen to prominence in his tribe through 
a love tragedy. He was rival with one of the 
greatest chiefs for the hand of a comely maiden. 
The Chief demanded that he should cease his 
pretensions, as being of no rank in the tribe. 
Burning with rage, Spotted-Tail, snatched hia^ 

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knife and defied his rival. There was a life and 
death struggle, after which both contestants were 
found locked in each others arms, seemingly dead. 
But Spotted-Tail recovered, married his girl, and 
was dected as Chief of the tribe after the death 
of the hereditary chief. At the time of the treat- 
ies above mentioned his authority was merely 
nominal, owing to the strong anti-treaty senti- 
ment, though he was counted on by the whites as 
a sure friend. 

Every e£fort was made to induce the dissenting 
Indians to come to terms, but they remained 
undeceived by promises. Military occupation of 
their country was going on all the time that 
negotiations were pending. Colonel Carrington 
was ordered up from Fort Kearney with 2,000 
men, of which fully 500 were scattered directly 
along the route of the proposed new highway. 
Their presence was a plain menace, and Red 
Cloud, Man-afraid-of-his-horses, and other chiefs 
broke off all further negotiations. The Lower 
Brules with a few stragglers from other tribes were 
the only Indians who concluded to maintain peace. 
They numbered at the time 2,500 people, but 
within a year, Spotted-Tail, Standing Elk and 
Swift Bear, could not muster over xoo lodges, 
mostly women and old men, so great had been 
the defection in their ranks to those of Red Cloud. 



The invasion of the Powder River Country 
went on, in almost entire ignorance of the real 
sentiment of the Indians. The troops sent were 
numerous, tut poorly equipped for Indian hostth- 
ties. On' the morning after, a large command 

reached Fort Reno, 167 ^^^f ,,^°^^^f„''/ c^^^ 
Laramie, the very peacefully mclmed Sioux 
ran off all the sutler's horses and mules They 
were pursued without effect Soon after the 
r.^y that had reached KneyCreekwere ordered 

off. ^th notice that Fort Reno would not be dx^ 
turbed, but that no other fort could be built in 
hecoW Notwithstanding this notic^^the 
foundations of Fort Phil. Kearney >;«e l^d on 
Piney Creek. While at work on this fort, the 
herd of the builders was stampede-d and the 
party sent in pursuit was surrounded by Ind^ns 
Ld driven b4 with a loss of two soWiers k^ed 
and three wounded. On the same day Induns 
atucked the trading post of " f ^.^^^ ^^f ;^. 
who had married a Sioux wife, and killed the en- 
ti^>tyofsixmen. I- t^e ten days following 
five emigrant trains were attacked and fifteen 
m^Sred. A great quantity of stock was 
run off from under the guns of Fort Reno. 

Colonel Carrington now began to find outsat 
the Indians were in earnest, and he sent for re-m- 
fo^ments. Two companies of regular ca^ 

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were ordered from Fort Laramie and a regimeut 
of infantry from St Louis. Meanwhile the In- 
dians kept up their depredations, killing emi- 
grants, running oflF stock, pillaging posts and 
camps. The building of Fort PhU. Kearney was 
also going on on an elaborate plan and amid 
great difficulties. It was inclosed in October, 
1866, and was one of the largest forts in the' 
northwest, being 860 feet long by 600 wide, sur- 
rounded by a stockade n«irly double in size. 
The proposed new road to Montana crossed the 
Big Piney just above the fort. Carrington was 
sent out to build forts and he constructed this 
one, with his men under constant guard, though 
he seemingly neglected to ascertain the exact 
state of things about him by means of tnuned 
scouting parties. Some of his best men were 
captured in the woods and never afterwards 
heard tell of. 

The Indians grew bolder, as soldiers were 
forced to play carpenter. Now, they attacked the 
the wood trains, and then rode tantalizingly up to 
the fortand challenged thesoldiers to fight. InNov- 
ember one company of cavalry arrived, and Col- 
onel Fetterman became anxious for a fight. On 
December 6th, the wood train was attacked two 
miles from the fort, and forced to corral for defence. 
Fettcrmau was sent with a force of infantry and 


cavalry to attack the Indians and drive them 
across Lodge Tail Ridge. Carrington went with 
a small force of mounted infantry back of the 
Ridge to intercept the Indians on Peno Creek. 
Fetterman made his attack and routed the Indians 
whom he pursued for about five miles. They 
then faced about and retunied the attack on Fet- 
terman's troops. His cavalry fled, leaving him 
with a mer« handful of men to face a hundred 
Indian warriors. Fortunately Carrington's force 
came up and the Indians retired. Their retreat 
was a ruse, for Lieutenant Bingham and two 
or three others who pursued an unmounted Indian 
for two miles, fell into an ambush and were killed. 
Red Cloud commanded this Indian force in per- 
son. He had a system of watches and signals on 
the hills, and had, no doubt, prepared this ambus- 
cade for the entire force of whites. 

On December 21, 1866, a force of 90 men started 
into the woods to obtain timber for the fort At 
1 1 A. M., the look-out was signalled, "Woods full 
of Indians. Train attacked and coralled. Send 
relief." Colonel Fetterman was placed in charge 
of a relief party. Lieutenant Grummond took 
the cavalry portion in hand. The entire party 
footed up 84 men. It moved rapidly along the 
slope of Lodge Trail Ridge and deployed. The 
Indians abandoned their atUck on the wood train, 

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and attacked Fetteraau who fought his way over 
the ridge and into the Valley of Peno Creek. The 
firing was rapid and continuous, giving evidence 
at the fort of a hard battle. Colonel Carrington 
grew anxious, and ordered the men of the wood 
train to fight their way over the ridge to Fetter- 
man^s relief. They tried to do so but were driven 
back. Another force of 76 men was sent out 
from the fort under Captain Ten Eyck. It hast- 
ened to the ridge to find the firing slacking as 
though one side were giving way. Looking over 
the summits of the ridge into Peno VaUey it was 
found to be full of exultant savages who challenged 
the new comers to attack. Word was sent back 
to the fort for a howitzer, which did not come 
Presently, Ten Eyck noticed that the Indians 
were withdrawing from the valley on their own 
account Venturing down, he found that Fetter- 
man's command had been driven onto a knoll and 
surrounded. Within a space of about forty feet 
square lay the bodies of Colonel Fetterman 
Captain Brown and 65 men, stripped naked, 
scalped and mangled beyond description. They 
had, evidentiy, been surrounded by greatiy su- 
pwior numbers and shot down at close range. 
What had become of the rest of the command ? 
Next day a party was sent out to ascertain their 
fate. A quarter of a mile beyond the pile of dead 



in the valley was found the dead body of Lieuten- 
ant Grummond, and still futher, the bodiesof other 
officers and men, scalped and mutilated as before. 
The extermination of Fetterman's command had 
been complete. The victorious Indians were said 
to number 2,000 warriors made up of various dis- 
satisfied tribes — Ogallallas, Brules, Crows, Ar- 
rapahoes, Cheyennes, &c., though the above 
number is more likely to embrace all who were 
on the war-path at the time than the number 
actually engaged in the attack. They reported a 
loss equal to that of the whites. 

This tragedy filled the land with murmurs of 
rage against the Indians and of disapproval of 
the military management which had made it 
possible. General Grant ordered an investi- 
gation, the general conclusions of which were 
that a mighty blunder had been committed but 
by whom and precisely when and how, nobody 
could find out. Carrington was removed and 
was succeeded by Generad Wessels. About this 
time Fort Buford, -at the mouth of the Yellow- 
stone was attacked by Red Cloud, and the report 
was that its garrison was massacred entire. But 
it seemed that one company of cavalry was spared 
who had beaten off the attack- Wessels tried a 
winter campaign with no good results. In the 
spring of 1867, Man-afraid-of-his-horses andotherj 

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chiefs wanted to reform and join Spotted-Tail's 
friendly Brules. But as their only excuse was 
that they wanted powder for hunting, they were 
not treated with, and hostilities were kept up all 
summer^ the troops on the Montana road having 
to £ght for their wood and water. In August, 
Major Powells guard was attacked by a large 
force of Indians and driven in upon his reserve 
of 30 men stationed behind an improvised fort- 
ress made of their iron wagon beds. These 
troops were well armed with breech-loaders and 
had plenty of ammunition. They picked off the 
Indians in such numbers that they drew o£f and 
fell back to the hills, where they were joined by 
Red Cloud's main body, estimated at 1200 war- 
riors. The attack was renewed with determi- 
nation. For three hours the corral was a blaze 
of fire and the Indians were swept away by whole- 
sale. The closer they came for attack the more 
densely they ha4 to mass, and therefore the surer 
the fire of the besieged. They could stand the 
withering fire no longer and gave way in flight 
^heir loss was heavy and they called the battle 
the ** medicine fight,'' because they thought the 
whites had supernatural assistance, it being their 
first taste of medicine administered by the deadly 
breech-loades. The loss to the whites was but 
two killed and two wounded. 


In the fall of 1867, the Indian Commission 
decided that the Government had no right to 
push a road through the Powder River Couutry. 
The Pacific Railroad was under way. Army 
officers and the country were anxious to s^ it 
completed. By means of it Montana would be 
more accessible than by the Bozeman route. The 
Indians favored it and offered a right of way, if 
the Government would surrender its claims to 
the Powder River Country. The treaty of Apnl 
29, 1868, was formed, in which the Powder River 
Country was relinquished to the Indians and a 
right Jf way secured for the Pacific Railway. 
Red Cloud did not sign this treaty till the 
Government actuallybeganto withdraw ite troops 
from the line of the Montana road. ^ After this 
was accomplished the various Sioux tnbes ^ook 
possession of the country and demolished the 
chain of forts which had cost the country such 
enormous treasure to build and so many preoous 
lives to defend. This treaty, like all othera 
with the Indians, was not destined to stand. A 
few years later, it was ascertained that the Gov. 
emment had surrendered rights which were too 
precious and that it would pay to go over the 
same ground again. 

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Chapter XIL 

THE seats of the Black-Feet tribes were about 
Lake Winnepeg. Strife among them led 
to the secession of a large number under 
the lead of Piegan, or Pheasant, and his 
name passed to them. Coming south into the 
territory of the United States, his supporters 
were augmented by other dissatisfied Black-Feet, 
Bloods and Gros Ventres, so that they became 
a formidable tribe. 

They are a tall, well formed people with con- 
siderable prowess as warriors. Their govern- 
ment is complicated, being composed of seven 
classes, running down through chiefs, priests, 
legislators, hunters, warriors, to the lowest ranks. 
They are sun-worshippers, and the sun dance is 
the most palpable manifestetion of their religious 
emotion. They have figured in encyclopedias 
and dime novels as a treacherous, blood-thirsty 
people, always at enmity with the whites and 
tireless in their depredations upon them. Much 
of this is exaggeration. In 1853, they did not 



hesitate to meet Governor Stevens in council, and 
his report was that their disposition was undoubt- 
edly friendly. At that time the Bloods and Black- 
Feet were on Milk River, the Piegans between the 
Milk and the Missouri, and Gros Ventres on the 
Missouri below the mouth of Milk River. In 
i855allthe tribes of the Upper Missouri, including 
those mentioned above, met Governor Stevens in 
council, as had been agreed upon two years be- 
fore, and not only promised peace among one 
another but with the United States. A common 
hunting ground was mapped out, white travellers 
were to be protected, and the Government was 
conceded the right to make roads anywhere. 
Annuities were promised the Indians, and the 
help of the whites in promoting their civiliza- 

Ten years of peace passed. The Indians tried 
agriculture, but the country was too dry. Their 
annuities were either never paid or were frittered 
away. There came no promised schools and none 
of the blessings of civilization. The discovery 
of gold in the borders of the Blackfoot Country 
in 1862-1863 attracted thither a mob of white 
miners who increased the value of their finds by 
selling whisky to the Indians. In 1864 the Black- 
Feet oflFered to help General Sully to whip the 
Sioux. In the same year the Bloods ^ tj^i ^ 

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pers were at war, and the Bloods forgot about 
their treaties and carried their horse stealing to 
Fort Benton, demolishing the Suu River Agri* 
cultural Farm. The enmity of the whites ex- 
tended to the Piegans, and it was given out that 
all the Black-Feet nation, except the Gros Ventres, 
was at war openly or secretly. A militia organ- 
ization was formed against them, but it never 
rose above the dignity of a vigilance committee. 
In 1866 the restored buildings at Sun River 
farm were burned, and the arson was blamed on 
the Piegans, for the reason that they had mur* 
dered their Chief, Little Dog, because he had 
restored some stolen horses to the whites. In 
1866-67, these Indians, in common with all others 
whose living depended on the chase, suffered 
from want of ammunition and supplies, they 
having been withheld by the Government on 
account of the war with the Sioux tribes on the 
Montana road. Yet there was no outbreak in 
1867. ^^ 1868, the white population around 
Fort Benton began outrages which were well cal- 
culated to excite the Indians to war. After the 
Piegans had signed the treaty of that year, their 
leader. Mountain Chief, was shot at by two 
white mtHf which* dastardly act idcensed the 
tribe to revenge, especially after their efforts to 
have the culprits punished by law failed entirely. 




They raided Diamond City and stole 80 horses. 
Commissioner CuUen seized 18 Piegans and held 
them till the horses were returned. 

The year 1869 showed a worse state of feeling. 
The Indians revenged themselves on the whites 
for their lawlessness by stealing their horses and 
running them over the Canadian borders, where 
they found ready sale for them. General Sully 
reported the situation as desperate and said: 
i* Nothing will prevent a general outbreak of the 
Indians except a sufficient force to clear the 
country of roughs and whisky sellers." 

The Piegans, still smarting under the insult 
to their Chief, were sympathized with by Red 
Horn, Bear Chief and others. The depredations, 
which consisted largely of horsestealing raids, 
now turned into mutual surprises and murders, 
in which whites and reds drew on their dev- 
ilish ingenuity to the uttermost Emigrant 
trains were attacked; ranches were broken up, 
murders were a matter of almost daily occurrence, 
and for every murder of a white, two Indians had 
to pay thepenalty with their lives. The Clarke 
massacre, near Helena, intensified the excite- 
ment and seemed to justify a call for the mihtary, 
but General Sully thought matters would nght 
themselves. In December, a marauding party 
.uuclcaparty of buut« in S«. Ri^rvalg 

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and a violent fight ensued. It was resolved to 
strike back at once, but tbe great difficulty was 
to distinguisb between friendly and hostile 
Indians, a matter the settlers had never been very 
particular about Indeed it had became a habit 
to blame every crime on the Piegans and to pun- 
ish them for every deed committed by roving 
bands. The camps of Heavy Runner, Big Leg, 
Little Wolf and The Boy were selected as friendly, 
and were to remain undisturbed. The camps of 
Mountain Chief, Bear Chief and Red Horn were 
to be struck, as hostile. 

Colonel Baker left Fort Ellis in January, 1870, 
with four companies of cavalry. He was re-in- 
forced at Port Shaw with two companies of mount- 
ed infantry, and pushed his way north on the 
19th, marching only at night to insure secrecy. 
On the 23rd, they reached the camp of Bear 
Chief and Red Horn. Their attack was a com- . 
plete surprise. Over 300 ponies, their entire 
herd, was captured, and 173 Indians, including 
Red Horn, were killed. Only nine Indians es- 
caped, all the rest, men, women and children, fell 
into the list of killed and captured. Colonel 
Baker went in search of Mountain Chiefs camp, 
but found only seven deserted lodges on the site. 
The troops then proceeded to the camps of the 
Blood chiefs where they demanded all the horses 



and other property they had stolen. They then 
returned to their quarters, wearing the laurels of 
soldiers who had tracked the hostiles to their lair 
in the dead of winter, surprised a camp stricken 
with small pox, killed 173 of its occupants, far 
iifore than half of whom were women and child- 

This attack created great excitement m the 
'East, where it was regarded as a barbarous ex- 
hibition of force. The matter found its way into 
congress and gave rise to many acrimonious de- 
bates. Censure was extended clear along the 
lines up to the commanding officer of the District, 
and then it took a political turn, some holding 
Sheridan responsible and others General Han- 


Though Mountain Chief and perhaps the worst 
of the Piegau oflfenders escaped this terrible 
visitation, they have not proved so troublesome 
since. Only in 1885 were they reported as 
dangerously discontented, chiefly because of crop 
failures and inadequate rations. In nearly all 
cases the country reserved for these northern 
, tribes is unfit for cultivation. A white man 
' would starve on it. The Indian is expected to 
change his customs, go to work, and live, where 
life is impossible. Verily the exactions of the 
white, the civilized, the christianized peoples ar|^ 

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hard. Their code of meum and ttum seems like 
a wide departure from that divine summary of 
law " Do unto others as ye would that others 
should do unto you.'' 

Chaptbr XI'II. 

THE Modoc tribe are an offshoot of the Kla- 
maths. They occupied the country knovm 
as ^^ Lost River Basin/' and covering por- 
tions of the old Government road to Oregon 
and California. Their first difficulty was with 
emigrants, and, according to the Modocs, it grew 
out of the efforts of the emigrants to recapture 
horsesfoundin their possession, which they claimed 
they had purchased from theSnake and Pitt River 
Indians. Hostilities once begun, continued at 
intervals, during which time many Modocs were 
killed and many emigrants were cruelly butch- 
ered. Perhaps the most revolting of the many 
scenes was the massacre of seventy-five whites in 
1852. This terrible tragedy called out a comjlany 
of volunteers for the protection of emigrants. 
Under the command of Ben. Wright, of Yreka, 
Cal, they arrived on Tule Lake, at Bloody 
Point the scene where the seventy-five whites 
were butchered. They tried to engage the 
Modocs in a fair battle, but failing in this pro- 
posed a ^^peace talk'' which was finally accepted, 

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and forty^ix Modoc warriors responded, and were 
by him and his company attacked and forty-one 
of them slain. The Modoc people have always 
remembered this actof treaclieiy which hadmuch 
to do m perpetuating the bitter feelings that have 
since existed, and doubtless had influence in the 
assassination of General Canby and Dr. Thomas. 
Had Ben Wright been held to account for this 
unauthorized act, it would have done much to 
secure the confidence of the Modocs and the 
tnbes as well But instead of this he was 
received with great demonstrations, bonfires and 
banquets, and was afterwards appointed an Indian 
agent as a reward for this heroic act of treachenr 
to a trusting people, and a vioUtion of the sacied 
nghts of a flag of truce. 

HostiKties continued until 1864, when a tem- 
poraiy treaty was made. In the same year, on 
the 14A of October, Superintendent Huntington 
of Oregon, under authority of the General 
Government, held a treaty council at Council 
Grove, n^ Fort Klamath, with the Modocs and 
Klamath Indians, when all the countiy claimed 
by these tribes was ceded to the Government 
except so much as may be embraced within the 
boundanes of what is known as Klamath reser- 
vation, upon which they agreed and bound them- 
selves to locate immediately after the latificatioa 




of treaty. Captain Jack (Kient-poos), and other 
members of the Modoc tribe signed the treaty in 
the presence of witnesses. They remained on 
the reservation several months, accepting goods 
and subsistence in conformity with the treaty 
and finally left returning to the Modoc country. 
They ignored the treaty and refused to return to 
the reservation until December, 1869. This 
time they remained on the reservation until 
April, 1870, and then left for their camp on Lost 
River. Captain Jack and his band were prepared 
at this time to remain upon the reservation, and 
settle down in the way of civilization, if there 
had been ordinary encouragement and assistance, 
and if the Klamaths, who largely outnumbered 
Captain Jack's band, aud who were their heredi- 
tary enemies, had allowed them to do so. This 
band began to split rails for their farms, and in 
other ways to adopt civilized habits ; but the 
Klamaths demanded tribute from them for the 
land they were occupying, which the Modocs 
were obliged to render. They also began to 
taunt the Modocs, calling them ^^ strangers, 
orphans, poor men,'' and annoyed them in 
various ways, claiming the reservation as exclu- 
sively their own. Captain Jack appealed to 
Captain Knapp, the agent, for protection from 
these insults. At the agent's suggestion they 

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removed to another part of the reservation and 
began again to try to live by cultivating the 
ground. But here also they were followed by 
the same spirit of hostility by the Klamaths, 
from which they do not seem to' have been pro- 
tected by the agent The issue of rations seems 
also to have been suspended for want of funds, 
and for these reasons Captain Jack and his band 
returned to their old home on Lost River, where 
they became a serious annoyance to the whites, 
who had in the meanwhile settled on their ceded 

Renewed petitions for their removal called the 
attention of Superintendent Odeneal to the sub* 
jectjwho, laying the matter before the Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs at Washington, was 
instructed under date of April iSy2^ to have the 
Modocs removed to the Klamath reservation and 
to protect them from the Klamaths. The super- 
intendent sent messengers to the Modoc camp on 
the 26th of November, 1872, to order them to 
return to the reservation, and in the event of a 
refusal on their part to arrange for a meeting 
with them at Link River, twenty-five miles from 
the Modoc camp. 

They refused compliance with theorder, and also 
refused to meet Superintendent Odeneal, at Link 
River, saying substantially, ^*that they did not 



want to see him or talk with him ; that they did 
not want any white man to tell them what to do ; 
that they intended to remain where they were 
and would not go to the Klamath reservation; 
that they were tired of talking and were done 

Upon receiving Captain Jack*s insolent reply 
to his message^ the superintendent made applica- 
tion to the military commander at Fort Klamath 
for a force to "compel the Modocs to go upon the 
Klamath reservation;" giving as an authority 
the following words from the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs:— "You are hereby directed to 
remove the Modoc Indians to Klamath reserva- 
tion, peacably, if you possibly can, but forcibly 
if you must** He transferred the whole matter 
to Major John Green commanding the Post, with 
the hope that he might accomplish the object 
desired without the shedding of blood, if possible 
to avoid it 

In compliance with this request Captain Jack- 
son, with about thirty men, left Fort Klamath on 
November 28th, 1872. They arrived at the 
Modoc camp on the morning of the 29th and 
obtained an interview, during which he used 
every argument in his power to induce them to 
go. He informed them that ample provision had 
been made for food and clothing, and that they 

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would be protected from the annoyances of the 
EUaniaths. He also assured them of the folly of 
resistance to the orders of the Government 
Finding his efforts unavailing^ he ordered them 
to 'Uay down their arms.'' This order had been 
partially obeyed and prospects were that no 
serious trouble would enstrCi until the demand 
was made of ^^Scai -^Hret) Charlie'' to surrender, 
who refused complianct, nnd Jackson ordered an 
officer to disarm him. H^ advanced to perform 
the duty with pistol drawn, when both the officer 
and Scar-£iiced Charlie discharged their arms, but 
so nearly simultaneously that it is a matter of 
doubt who fired the first shot A general engage- 
ment then ensued between Jackson's forces and 
the Modocs in the camp on the west side of Lost 
River, composed of Captain Jack and some 
twelve or fifteen other warriors with families. At 
this point Lost River is a deep stream, three hun* 
dred feet wide, dividing the Modoc camp. 

While Captain Jack with his band occupied the 
west bank, ten other warriors with their families 
occupied the east side. While Jackson's forces 
were taking position around Captain Jack's Camp, 
a number of citizens had also taken a position 
commanding the camp on the east side, and when 
the former engaged in battle with Captain Jack's 



band on the west side, the latter soon engaged in 
battle with those on the east side. 

The Modocs kept up the war during the 
winter, and then retreated into an almost inacces- 
sible volcanic region called the Lava Beds. Here, 
in the spring of 1873, the Modocs were surrounded 
but not subdued. In January, 1873, a commis- 
sion had been appointed by the Secretary of the 
Interior to inquire into the causes of the difficul- 
ties, and to procure, if possible, a peaceable solu- 
tion of them. This commission, as finally com- 
posed, consisted of A. B. Meacham, L. S. Dyar 
and Rev. Dr. Thomas, and by the direction of the 
Secretary of the Interior, under date of March 22, 
1873, they were put under the direction of General 
Canby. On the nth of April, a conference was 
held with Captain Jack and other representative 
men of the tribe, but in the midst of the council 
the treacherous savages rose upon the kind-heart- 
ed men who sat beside them, and murdered Gen- 
eral Canby and Dr. Thomas in cold blood. Mr. 
Meacham was also shot and stabbed but escaped 
with his life. General Canby fell a victim to a 
bullet from Captain Jack's pistol. Boston 
Charley first shot Dr. Thomas, and Bogus 
Charley completed the murder by shooting him 
with a rifle as he was trying to escape* 

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When this commission went out from Gillam's 
camp to meet Capt Jack, it went warned of pos* 
sible treachery, and the officers and soldiers 
were on the alert As soon as they heard the 
firing they knew what was up. The soldiers 
sprang to their arms and ran toward the Council 
tent They found the dead bodies of Canby and Dn 
Thomas, rescued Meacham, and met Dwyer and 
Riddle thoroughly exhausted by their efforts to 
escape. The murderers had fled back into the 
inaccessible Lava Beds. 

. This treachery and cruelty made the Modocs 
objects of universal execration. Extj^rmination 
of the tribe was now an ultimatum. Gillem's 
entire command was moved forward in the face 
of a stubborn resistance and his mortar batteries 
were trained so that the shells could reach the 
Indian caves. For two entire days they played 
on these hiding places, and then the troops 
advanced to find the Indians had escaped by the 
rear, through a deep crevice more than a mile in 
length. The troops had lost six killed and four- 
teen wounded and the Indians eleven killed. 

The Indians took a new position four miles 
south of their old haunt Captain Thomas started 
with a comma9d of 80 men to reconnoitre. 
While stopping for luncheon, fire was opened on 
them from the lava ridges around. The men 




became panic striken and rushed about regardless 
of orders. Lieutenant Wright reached a ridge 
on the the west with one company, which was 
quickly decimated by bullets. Lieutenent Crans- 
ton reached a ridge on the north with five men all 
of whom perished. The main body followed 
Wright, but they were soon cut down to twenty 
men. Captain Thomas exclaimed, ^^We are 
surrounded, let us die like brave men I ** They 
sheltered themselves as well as they could be- 
hind the rocks, but the Indians knew all the 
by-paths well, and could introduce flank .firing 
without danger to themselves. To add to the 
horror of the situation, a scout of Warm Spring 
Indians which came up to the rescue of the troops, 
was mistaken for Modocs and fired upon by the 
whites, and their succor was thus prevented. 
Meanwhile Major Green was hastening to the 
scene with all the available forces. They reached 
it in time to save but few of the defeated troops. 
Captain Thomas, and Lieutenants Howe, Wright 
and Cranston were dead. Lieutenant Harris was 
mortally wounded. Eighteen dead and seven- 
teen wotmded soldiers were found ; the rest of 
the soldiers gradually struggled back to camp to 
tell dreadful stories of panic and hair-breadth 

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General Jeflf. C Davis succeeded Canby. He 
found his troops so dispirited overfailuresandloss- 
es as to make a prompt movement unwise. The 
Modocs inspired fear by keeping quiet No one 
knew behind which lava ridge they were crouch- 
ing, nor what rock might send forth a blast of 
deadly bullets. At length the Indian scouts re- 
ported the capture of a supply train by Modocs, 
on the east side of Tule Lake. A company of 
Cavalry was sent after them, which was sur- 
prisedy but by dint of hard fighting drove off the 
foe and pursued it back into the Lava Beds. 

Davis hit on the plan of forming a number of 
little camps in the Lava Beds, sufficiently near 
together to be within supporting distance of one 
another, and sufficiently numerous to keep the 
attention of the Indians distracted. If they 
attempted to surround one, they would be within 
range of another. Owing to the small number 
of the Indians this worked great hardship to 
them. The Modoc Camp, morever, became dis- 
cordant within. Hooker Jim and Jack quarrelled, 
and their bands separated, both leaving the Lava 
Beds. Hooker Jim*s party was pursued for fifty 
miles, the entire way being a series of skirmishes. 
At length it was run down and forced to sur- 
render. Then Hooker Jim, Bogus Charley^ 
Shack-nasty Jim and Steamboat Frank, volun« 



teered to go as scouts to find Captain Jack and 
secure his surrender. They found him on Wil- 
low Creek, but he would die with his gun in his 
hand rather than surrender. The troops were 
following in the direction taken by the scouts, 
and when informed of the position of Jack's party 
and of his refusal to surrender, they surrounded 
him in the Willow Creek Canyon. Boston 
Charley came out with seven women and sur- 
rendered. Jack and the rest of his party escaped 
by running down the canyon they were pursued 
over hill and through canyon to the bluffs on 
LangelVs Valley. Here they made a stand, but 
as the soldiers approached, firing, five Indians 
rushed forward and surrendered. Jack, with the 
remaining warriors fled in the night 

There was another hunt after Jack. He was 
again scented out and surrounded. " He now de- 
sired to surrender. Coming out of his haunt and 
glaring about him he said to the scouts "My 
legs have given out.** He was taken to the camp 
near Clear Lake, where word of his capture was 
received with joy. One by one the rest of his 
band was picked up, and the bloody Modoc war 
came to an end. The loss of life was great 
measured by the rank and importance of the 
killed, though in numbers it was not large. 
Neither was it great on the part ofl the Indiansip 


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But the war cost the govemment fully half a 
million dollars. 

General Davis wanted to hang half a score of 
the surrendered Indians without trial ; but the 
Government ordered a trial by a Military Com- 
mission at Fort Klamath. Captain Jack^ Schon- 
chin John, Black Jim, Boston Charlie, One-eyed 
Jim and Slolox were arraigned for murder. Cap- 
tain Jack made a powerful defence, but there 
could be but one result. They were all found 
guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Two of 
them had their sentences changed to imprison- 
ment for life ; the rest were executed at Fort 
Klamath, October 3, 1873. They were all hang- 
ed from one long scaffold, which they mounted 
firmly and with the assurance that they were 
"ready to go to the Great Father.** The Klamath 
.Indians to the number of 500 witnessed the 
execution* They had done much to instigate the 
Modoc uprising, and yet were their chief accusers. 

Several of the Modocs, held as prisoners, were 
murdered. The rest of the tribe was sent east to 
the Quapaw agency, where their chief. Bogus 
Charlie, has taught them industry and good be- 
havior. A few of the very worst were sent to 
Fort Marion, in Florida, and placed in training 
there. They became converts to Christianity. 


Chapter XIV. 

THE Sioux war of 1876 " was dishonorable to 
the nation, and disgraceful to those who 
originated it" Such is the language of the 
Commissioners, appointed to negotiate for 
the surrender of the Black Hills and unceded 
Indian country, defined in the treaty of 1868, in 
their report to the .President made on the x8th 
day of December, 1876. 

By the treaty of 1868, it will be remembered, 
there was set apart for the absolute and undis- 
turbed use of the Sioux, for their permanent 
home, all that part of Dakota lying south of par- 
allel 46 and east of the Missouri River, together 
with the reservations on the east side of the Mis- 
souri and the country lying north of the North 
Platte River and east of the summit of the Big 
Horn Mountains. According to the terms of the 
treaty this reservation " is set apart for the abso- 
lute and undisturbed .use and occupation of 
the Indians herein named and for such other 
friendly tribes or individual Indians as from timeT^ 

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to time they may be willing^ with the consent of 
the United States^ to admit amongst them ; and 
the United States now solemnly agrees that no 
persons, except those therein designated and au- 
thorized so to dO) and except such officers, agents 
and employees of the Government as may be 
authorized to enter upon Indian reservations in 
discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be 
permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in 
the territory described in this article, or in such 
territory as may be added to this reservation for 
the use of said Indians. '* Another article pro- 
vides, ** that the country north of Ihe North 
Platte and east of the Big Horn Mountains, shall 
be held and considered unceded Indian territory, 
and the United States also stipulates and agrees 
that no white person or persons shall be per- 
mitted to settle upon or occupy any portiou of the 
same, or without the consent of the Indians first 
had and obtained, to pass through the same." 
The Indians on their part agree ^' to relinquish 
all right permanently to occupy the territory 
outside of theii reservation as defined in the 
treaty, but yet reserve the right to hunt on any 
lands north of the North Platte, and on the Re- 
publican fork of the Smoky Hill River." The 
United States also agreed to abandon the Mon- 
tana xx)ad with all the forts along it It was left 

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to the Indians to choose whether they would be 
farmers or hunters. To the farmers, however, a 
larger annuity would be given. Owing to lack 
of rain, abundance of grasshoppers, and their own 
inclination, many of them naturally continued to 
follow the chase. 

In less than three months after this treaty was 
ratified and proclaimed, it was violated by the 
government On June aoth, 1869, General Sher- 
idan« by order of General Sherman, issued the 
following military order: ^^All Indians, when on 
their proper reservations, are under the exclusive 
control and jurisdiction of their agents ; they will 
not be interfered with in any manner by the mil- 
itary authority, except upon requisition of the 
special agent resident. with them, his superin- 
tendent, or the bureau of Indian Affairs at Wash- 
ington. Outside the well defined limits of their 
reservations, they are under the original and ex- 
clusive authority of the military, and as a rule 
will be considered hostile." 

Though this order was in direct violation of 
certain provisions of the treaty of x868, granting 
the privilege of roaming and hunting on the 
uuceded Indian country, yet it was inexorably 
executed, the Indians were attacked and punished 
whenever they could be found by the military. 
The Indians could not understand why they J p 

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should be thus hunted, harassed and punished by 
the soldiers, since they were only exercising a 
right secured to them by the treaty, especially 
as they still continued to receive the annuity 
granted to the Indians that hunted and roamed. 
While the Sioux were punished for not obeying 
a military order, given in violation of the treaty, 
the whites were making constant incursions upon 
their territory. 

When the treaty was made in 1868, the coun- 
try set apart for the Indians was supposed to be 
in a large part of waste and barren land. But 
between 1868 and 1876, when war was declared 
against the Sioux, many and great changes had 
taken place. These changes were due to the 
settling of the new country, adjacent to the In- 
dian reservations, opened up by the North Pacific 
Railroad and numerous minor lines, and the 
•*Black Hills" gold fever. Great numbers of 
these settlers began to look with longing eyes 
towards the Black HiUs, which by the treaty of 
1868 was declared to be an inviolable part of the 
Sioux reservation. Indians, from time to time, 
brought in gold dust and nuggets to the trading 
posts. When questioned, they admitted that 
they found it in the Black Hills. The story 
spread like wildfire and the excitement waxed 
high in the west Parties of miners began to 




organize for the new Eldorado and the govern- 
ment was petitioned to sanction this trespass. 
Notwithstanding the protests of the Indians, 
numerous expeditions under the escort and pro- 
tection of the Military were made into the Black 
Hills and other parts of their reservation. 
But what incensed the Sioux most was the 
formidable expedition fitted out under General 
Custer in the Summer of 1874. This strong col- 
umn was formed with the avowed purpose of 
ascertaining whether gold was to be found there. 
It consisted of ten companies of the Seventh 
Cavalry, Company I, Twentieth Infantry and 
Company G, Seventeenth Infantry, with sixty 
Indian scouts and four Gatling guns. General 
Forsyth was with the column. 

There was little or no danger to the powerful 
column either real or apprehended. It started 
on a romantic and mysterious expedition, as if 
for a picnic, and as such it found the whole 
journey. When Custer applied for Indian 
scouts, who were Sioux, to accompany the ex- 
pedition they were very much surprised. They 
hesitated and expressed regret, but could not do 
otherwise than obey the summons. Custer^s re- 
ports of the progress of this expedition was given 
in such glowing terms that those who hearjd grew 

wild with excitement **Not only ^ms thfi^re^oldl ^ 

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to be found, but the country was beautiful beyond 
description and not the barren waste heretofore 

The next morning, although loath to leave so 
enchanting a locality, we continued to ascend this 
valley until gradually, almost imperceptibly, we 
discovered that we were on the crest of the west- 
em ridge of the Black Hills ; and instead of being 
among barren, rocky peaks, as might be supposed, 
we found ourselves wending our way through a 
little park, whose natural beauty may well bear 
comparison with the loveliest portions of Central 
Park. Favored as we had been in having Floral 
Valley for our roadway to the west of the Black 
Hills, we were scarcely less fortunate in the val- 
fey, which seemed to me to meet us on the interior 

This expedition remained out until September, 
and further explorations only confirmed Custer's 
first impressions. Upon its return a full report 
was given in which the people were told that it 
was a " goodly land," beautiful to look upon, 
abounding in good water, timber and grass. Yes, 
and gold was to be found there. It was this con- 
firmation of former reports that kept the covetous 
eyes of the whites turned towards the Black Hills, 
and more mining parties were organized and 
started for them. The Northern Pacific Railroad^ 


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STANDING HOLLY^Daugbter of Sitting Bull T 

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too,. changed its line from the north to the south 
side of the Yellowstone river 

This change was very objectionable to tlie 
nomad Sioux^ they claiming that it was in 
violation of the treaty of 1868, and that it fright- 
ened away the buflFalo, They therefore drove 
off the surveying parties who attempted to run 
this new line. Numerous depredations were 
committed upon the Indians by the white rowdies, 
horse-theives, and scalawags, who congregate in 
a new and lawless country. They also preyed 
upon the white settlers, and most of this was 
credited to the Indians. Stock was taken from 
the Indians and by the Indians. Blood was 
shed on both sides. The Indians were branded 
as ^**fiends ** while the outlaws who preyed upon 
both white and Indians were termed the " pio- 
neers of the frontier.** All this was not cal- 
culated to soothe the savage breast and make it 
tender and loving toward the white man. 

Some officers who did not accompany the 
Custer expedition characteh ed his report as 
baseless and exaggerated. General Hazen des- 
ignated all that part of the Northwest as a 
*• Barren Belt." A dispute also arose among the 
geologists, as to the mining value of the Black 
Hills. Another expedition was therefore sent 

out in the Summer of 1875, under Pjqfossoj^T^ 

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Jenney, with a military escort under Lieutenant 
Colonel Dodge. They entered Floral Valley a 
month earlier than Custer had, and were greeted 
by a violent storm of sleet, but later on found 
both soil and climate congenial. They also 
found the country full of miners, contrary to the 
treaty stipulations. General Crook was instructed 
to order them to leave. 

A month later, on August lo, 1875, ^^ Cloud 
said to Governor Fletcher, of Missouri, who was 
at the Red Cloud agency: "Now as to those 
Black Hills, Our Great Father has got a great 
many soldiers, and I never knew him, when he 
wanted to stop anything with his soldiers, but he 
succeeded in it The reason I tell you this, is 
that the people from the states who have gone to 
the Black Hills, are stealing our gold, digging it 
out and taking it away, and I don't see why the 
Great Father don't bring them back. To this 
the- Governor replied: — ^•^The Great Father has 
ordered these people away from there in five days 
from now, and if they do not go, he will bring 
•them out with his soldiers.'' On the next day. 
Sitting Bull said : — ^**You told me yesterday that 
the troops would take all the white people away 
from the Black Hills by the Z5th of August, and 
the young men were all very glad to know that 
these miners were to be out of the Black Hills 





before the Northern Indians came down to the 
grand council." In reply to Sitting Bull, Gover- 
nor Fletcher said : — ^**I saw General Crook, and 
he said he had orders from the President to get 
these miners all out by the 15th of this month, . 
and the miners have all agreed to go by that 

General Crook went to the hills and advised 
the miners to leave. Some did so in good faith, 
others went away to return again, still others 
doggedly remained. General Crook reported that 
he had given them time to secure themselves 
against loss, but that the sentiment was strong 
against removaL They charged that the Indians 
violated the treaties every year by their predatory 
incursions. He advised that steps be taken to se- 
cure a cession of the mining regions from the In- 
dians. If this was not done there would surely 
be trouble when the miners attempted to return. 

In Nov. 1875, E. C. Watkins, Indian Commis- 
sioner, reported that the "Sioux country is prob- "^ /, 
ably the best hunting ground in the United *' 
States, a paradise for Indians, affording game in; 
such variety and abundance that the need of 
government supplies is not felt. Perhaps for 
this' reason they have never accepted aid or been 
brought under control. They openly set at de- 
fiance all law and authority, and boast that the T 

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United States are not strong enough to conquer 
them. The troops are held in contempt, and, sur- 
rounded by their native mountains, relying on 
their knowledge of the country and powerful en- 
durance, they laugh at the futile efforts that have 
thus far been made to subjugate them, and scorn 
the idea of white civilization. They are lofty and 
independent in their attitude and language 
toward the government officials, as well as the 
whites generally, and claim to be the sovereign 
rulers of the land. They say they own the wood, 
the water, the ground, the air, and that white men 
Kve in or pass through their country but by their 
sufferance. They are rich in horses and robes, 
and are thoroughly armed. Nearly every warrior 
carries a breech loading gun, a pistol, a bow, and 
a quiver of arrows. Inspector Watkins did not 
seem to be familiar with the terms of the treaty 
of 1868, by which these wild bands of Sioux had 
the right guaranteed to them to roam and hunt 
in the valleys where they then were, and in all 
other parts of the unceded Indian country, as 
long as game abounded. 

In December, 1875, the Secretary of the Inter. 
ior ordered the Sioux to remove to a reservation 
on penalty of being reported to the War Depart- 
ment as hostiles. This order was sent to the 
agents of the respective tribes, to be commun- 


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icated to Sitting Bull and other wild Indians. 
This order was to take eflfect in January, 1876. 
These wild Indians were nomads, roaming and 
huntingon unceded lands by virtue of the treaty of 
1868. Some of the Indians acquiesced in the 
order, others knew that there was not food 
enough for them at the agencies, and so declined 
to come till they had supplied themselves with 
buffalo meat, still others never heard of the order. 
Sitting Bull sent word that he would not comply. 
Very many of the agency Indians were out hunt- 
ing. These were disarmed as they returned. 
When this became known the hunting parties 
still out refused to return, but joined the forces 
of Sitting Bull. 

Sitting Bull's declination was anticipated, and 
he and his followers were turned over to the tender 
mercy of the War Department. An expedition 
was speedily dispatched against them, in which 
the miners were a unit with the troops, for it was 
clear that the Black Hills region must be wrested 
from the Indians* 

The war, aptly styled **the crime of the cen- 
tennial year," was therefore begun against the 
Sioux. Three colums of troops were ordered to 
concentrate on the upper waters of the Yellow- 
stone. General Terry started from Fort Lincoln 

with one column, 1,000 strong, in yl^i^K JK*?^!^ 

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Custer's command. General Crook had com« 
mand of the Fort Fetterman column, 1,300 men. 
General Gibbon led the one from Fort Ellis, with 
400 men. Crook reached the field first and sent 
General Reynolds to look up the band of Crazy 
Horse, then encamped near Bear Butte, and de« 
tained there by the cold weather. On March 17, 
1876, Re3molds surprised this camp, capturing 
800 ponies, and destroying the teepes and goods. 
The Indians rallied on the mountain sides and 
made a determined stand, pouring in a destructive 
fire on the troops. The troops were re-inforced 
and finally succeeded in beating the Indians off, 
so that a retreat could be effected. This retreat 
was kept up for 20 miles, during which the 
whites lost most of the captured ponies. In this 
engagement the Indians were surprised but by 
no means beaten. Crook returned to Fort Fetter, 
man, on account of the cold, where he remained 
till May 29th. 

This expedition gave rise to the impression 
that the hostile Sioux were not so numerous as 
had been supposed. This false impression be- 
came the basis of future forces and movements. 
How fatal it was, we shall soon see. Crook opened 
his summer campaign by marchings from For 
Fetterman to Fort Reno. By June 8th he was 
on Tongue River, where he was joined by a num- 






ber of Crow, Shoshone and Nez Perces Indians as 
scouts. The camps of Sittiug Bull and Crazy 
Horse were reported to be ou the Rosebud River. 
Thither Crook marched expecting to surprise the 
camp. But he was suddeuly attacked by Sitting 
Bull, and the "Battle of the Rosebud" was fought 
June 17th, 1876. Crook deployed to a disadvan- 
tage owing to the contour of the ground. Sit- 
ting Bull handled his forces with great skill, 
taking advantage of every defect in Crook^s lines. 
The ground was hotly contested, and the white 
troops were forced into a retreat, which for a time 
foreboded disaster. But they were reformed and 
pushed the battle with great gallantry, finally 
holding the field, but unable to pursue and pun- 

The two colums of Terry and Gibbon had com- 
municated with each other near the junction of 
the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers. The In- 
dians were found to be in force beyond the Yel- 
lowstone, and Terry began to feel for them along 
the lines of the Powder, Tongue, Rosebud, Little 
and Big Horn Rivers. Major Reno was sent 
with six companies of the 7th Cavalry to the 
Powder River with orders to communicate with 
Crook. He found neither Crook nor Indians. 
Both the Tongue and Powder Rivers were de- 
clared to be free from Indians.. . The search ni 




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rowed to the Rosebud and Big and Little Horn 
Rivers. As soon as Terry received Reno's report 
lie ordered General Custer to march to a point 
south of Gibbotti on the Yellowstone. Terry 
kept abreast of his column, on the little steamer 
Far West. When Gibbon's camp was reached, 
a consultation was held. . It was believed the In- 
dians were on the Rosebud or Little or Big Horn 
and Terry announced that General Custer should 
strike them a blow. 

Custer started up the Rosebud on June 22ud, 
with orders to proceed south to the head-waters 
of the Tongue, and then turn toward the Little 
Big Horn, but leaving him unhampered should 
occasion require. Colonel Gibbon's column was 
already in motion toward the mouth of the Big 
Horn, intending to cross and move to the parks 
of the Big and Little Big Horn. Custer and 
Gibbon were to communicate as often as possible. 

Custer marched his regiment twelve miles up 
the Rosebud on June 22nd. On the 23rd and 
24th he continued his march, follo\;(dng an Indian 
trail, which freshened every mile. He then halted 
to await his scouts. The report came that the 
Indian camp seemed to be on the Little Big Horn. 
To reach it the divide between the Rosebud and 
the Little Big Horn would have to be crossed? 
and in order to do this in safety the march would 

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have to be at night. The movement began at 11 
P. M., of the 24th| and the column filed up a 
branch of the Rosebud, which headed near the 
summit of the divide. The scouts brought word 
that the divide could not be crossed except in 
daylight. A halt was called; breakfast was 
taken. At 8 A. M. of the 25th the divide was 
crossed and the column began to descend a branch 
of the Little Big Horn. Indians had been seen 
and a surprise was now out of the question. It 
was determined to move in direct attack. Custer 
kept command of Companies C, £, F, I and L. 
Renocommanded Companies M, A and G. Ben- 
teen commanded Companies H, D and K. Mc- 
I Dougall held Company B as a guard for the train. 
Reno moved to the left ; Benteen further to the 
left Custer kept to the right of the creek. In 
this order the forces moved down toward the Little 
Big Horn and the valley. By 12.30 P. M., the 
.village was reported as only two miles ahead and 
running away. Reno was ordered to push for- 
ward as fast as possible, aiid he would be sup- 
ported by all the rest. He quicked marched for 
two miles to a fording, stopped to gather his bat- 
talions, and. sent hasty word to Custer that the 
enemy was in force before him, and strong. He 
deployed and charged down the valley, driving 
the Indians for over two miles with| great ease. , * 

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Fearing a trap and not finding the support Cus* 
ter had promised, yet not wishing to retreat, 
though the Indians began to swarm around him, 
he dilsmounted his men, and took possession of a 
point of wood for defence He soon found he 
was fighting odds five to one, and that he must 
get out of the woods to escape being surrounded 
and captured. He remounted his men and 
charged on the Indians between him and the 
bluflFs on the opposite side of the river. This 
desperate charge cost him the lives of 3 officers 
and 29 men. 

He gained the blufifs, however, and was met by 
Benteen's three companies, which raised 
his force to 380 men. Hearing nothing 
of Custer, and thus reinforced, he moved along 
the blufifs toward the Indian camp again. Firing 
was heard ofif in the direction of the village. The 
supposition was it was Custer, and an efiPort was 
made to communicate with him, which failed. 
Reno then returned to his first position on the 
blufifs, dismounted his men, sheltered their horses 
in a depression, and had hardly done so when he 
was furiously attacked. The attack lasted till 
9 P. M.. and occasioned a loss of x8 killed and 
46 wounded. . 

Reno was now impressed with the fact that 
the overwhelming force of the enemy would pre- 



vent Custer from coming to his support He 
therefore dug rifle pits and prepared barricades 
of dead horses and muk?, so as to be prepared 
for the next day. All night his men worked 
within sound of a scalp-dance in the valley below. 
At half past two in the morning his positon sud- 
denly became the centre of a terrific fusilade, 
which increased till daylight. Reno found him- 
self completely surrounded by swarms of daring 
savages, who boldly charged his lines at 9 A. M., 
but were repulsed. On the morning of the 27th, 
troops were seen- coming to their relief. Where 
was Custer all this time ? Of all his command 
there was only one left to tell, Curly, the Crow 
Indian Scout. His story runs : 

Custer, with his five companies, after separa- 
ting from Reno and his seven companies, moved 
to the right around the base of a high hill over- 
looking the valley of the Little Horn. There 
were no signs of Indians in the hills on that side 
(the right) of the Little Horn, and the colunni 
moved steadily on until it rounded the hill and 
came in sight of the village lying in the valley 
below them. Custer appeared very much elated, 
and ordered the bugles to sound a charge, and 
moved on at the head of his column, waving his 
hat to encourage his men. When they neared 
the river, the Indians, concealed inithe, under- T/> 

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growth on the opposite side of the stream, opened 
fire on the troops, which checked the advance. 
Here a portion of the command were dismounted 
and thrown forward to the river, and returned 
the fire of the Indians. During this time the 
warriors were seen riding out of the village by 
hundreds, and deplo3ring across Custer's front 
and to his left, while the women and children > 
-were seen hastening out of the village in large 
numbers in the opposite direction. During the 
fight at this point, Curly saw two of Custer's * 
men killed, who fell into the stream. After fight- 
ing a few moments here, Custer seemed to be 
convinced that it was impracticable to cross, as it 
only could be done in column of fours, exposed 
during the movement to a heavy fire from the 
front and both flanks. He therefore ordered the 
head of the column to the left, and bore diag* 
onally into the hills, down stream, his men on 
foot leading their horses. 

In the meantime the Indians had crossed the 
river (below) in immense numbers, and began to 
appear on his right flank and in his rear ; a,nd 
he had proceeded but a few hundred yards in the 
new directidn the column had taken, when it be 
came necessary to renew the fight with the In- 
.dians who had crossed the stream. At first the 
command remained together, but after some min- 



utes fighting it was divided, a portion deploying 
circularly to the left, and the remainder similarly 
to the right, so that when the Hue was formed, 
it bore a rude resemblance to a circle, advantage 
being taken, as far as possible, of the protection 
afforded by the ground. The horses were in the 
rear, the men on the line being dismounted, fight- 
ing on foot. Of the incidents of the fight in other 
parts of the field than his own. Curly was not 
well-informed, as he was himself concealed in a 
deep ravine, from which but a small part of the 
field was visible. 

The fight appeared to have begun, about 2.30 
or 3 o'clock P. M., on the 25th, and continued 
without intermssion until nearly sunset. The 
Indians had completely surrounded the command 
leaving their horses in ravines well to the rear 
themselves pressing forward to the attack on foot 
Confident in the great superiority of their num- 
bers, they made several charges on all points of 
Custer's lines, but the troops held their position 
firmly, and delivered a heavy fire, which every 
time drove them back. The firing was a conrin- 
uous roll, or, as he expressed it, "like the snapping 
of threads in the tearing of a blanket" The 
troops expended all the ammunition in their belts, 
and then sought their horses for the reserve am- 
munition carried in their saddle packets. ,^ ^ ■ ^ 

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As longas their ammunition beldout^ the troops, 
though losing considerably in the fight, main- 
tained their position in spite of all the efforts of 
the Sioux. Prom the weakening of their fire 
toward the close of the afbemoon, the Indians 
appeared to believe that their ammunition was 
about exhausted, and they made a grand final 
charge, in the course of which the last of the 
command was destroyed, the men being shot 
where they lay in their positions in the line, at 
such close quarters that many were killed with 
arrows. Curly said that Custer remained alive 
throughout the greater part of the engagement, 
animating his men to determine resistance, but 
about an hour before the close of the fight he 
received a mortal wound. 

The Crow said, further, that the field was 
thickly strewn with the dead bodies of the Sioux, 
who fell in the attack — ^in numbers considerably 
more than the force of soldiers engaged. He was 
satisfied that their loss exceeded aoo killed, be- 
sides an immense number wounded. Curly ac- 
complished his escape by drawing his blanket 
around him in the manner of the Sioux, and 
passing through an interval which had been 
made in their lines as they scattered over the 
field in their final chB'^^t. 



In most particulars the account given by Curly 
of the fight is confirmed by the position of the 
trail made by Custer in his movements and the 
general evidences of the battle field. The 
famous Sioux chief, Gall, who had an important 
command among the hostiles during the battle, on 
being taken over the field in 1888, by the officers at 
Fort Custer, confirmed the statement of the Crow 
scout Custer, according to Gall, did not succeed 
in crossing the river. 

He saw at a glance that he was overpowered, 
and did the only thing proper under the circum- 
stances, iu leading his commandto higher ground 
wbere it could defend itself to some advantage. 
Even in that dread extremity, his soldier spirit 
and noble bearing held the men under control, 
and the dead bodies of the troopers of Calhoun's 
and Keough*s companies, found by General Gib- 
bon's command lying in ranks as they fell, at- 
tested the cool generalship exhibited by the heroic 
leader in the midst of deadly peril. It had 
always been General Custer's habit to divide his 
command when attacking Indian villages. His 
victory over Black Kettle on the Washita was 
obtained in that manner, but the experiment 
proved fatal to Major Elliott, and a considerable 
squad of soldiers. It was the general opinion in 
Crook's command at the time, thaJt 1^^J^<#^ 

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of more resolution been in Major Reno's place, 
he would have attempted to join Custer at any 
cost Reno was, no doubt, imposed upon by 
Indian strategy, and his retreat to the bluflFs, was 
to say the least of it, premature. But, in the 
light of after events, it does not seem probable 
that he could have reached the fatal heights upon 
which Custer and his men perished. Had Custer 
taken his entire regiment into the fight he might 
still have sustained a repulse, but would have es- 
caped annihilation. 

Meanwhile Gibbon had pushed his command 
forward so that he could reach the Little Big 
Horn by scouts. On the morning of the a6th, 
three Crow scouts brought him word of Custer's 
massacre. Gibbon then entered the valley of 
Little Big Horn with his whole Infantry force. 
The enemy retreated, and Gibbon forced his men 
ahead till he reached the fortified position held by 
Reno. The rescue was a welcome one, for Reno 
was holding on with sheer desperation and was 
liable to Custer's fate at any moment. The 
Indians quailed before the advent of Gibbon's 
command and took to the mountains, burning all 
they could not carry. 

Gibbon started to find Custer. A march of a 
few miles brought him upon the field of blood. 
The sight that met his eyes was shocking in the 



extreme. Over those bluffs, naked and mutilated, 
were thickly strewn the dead bodies of Custer's 
men. Near the summit, they found the body of 
the gallant Custer. * Gibbon's regiment buried 
the dead on the field where they fell. After the 
dead were buried, Generals Terry and Gibbon 
slowly and sadly retraced their way to Rosebud 
Landing, on the Yellowstone, where, like Crook, 
they awaited re-inforcements. 

The Indians now divided. Sitting Bull kept 
the Valley of Long Fork, while Crazy Horse 
moved eastward. Re-inforcements were hurried 
to the seat of war. Crook scouted Tongue 
River, and started for the Black Hills. General 
McKenzie moved in October upon the Red Cloud 
Agency and siezed the arms and ponies belonging 
to Red Cloud's band. This was white savagery 
in the extreme, yet war seemed to justify it by 
the fact that so many of the agency Indians were 
deserting, with their arms, to the hostiles. 

It was in October, 1876, that General Miles 
was met by Sitting Bull with propositions for 
peace. He would listen to no terms that deprived 
him of his right to live as a free Indian. The 
dissolution of the Council meant that hostilities 
would be renewed. Both sides took position and 
a battie ensued in which the Indians were routed 
and chased for forty miles. 400 lodges surren- 

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dered^and 119 gained the Yankton reservation, 
where they dissolved. Sitting Bull escaped to 
the north. 

A new expedition was fitted out by General 
Crook, and on the 7th of December, Lieutenant 
Baldwin attacked Sitting Bull and drove him 
across the Missouri. On the i8th he surprised 
their camp, capturing all its contents.* In a state 
of destitution, Sitting Bull's band escaped across 
the Yellowstone where he received word from 
Crazy Horse to join his camp. 

This was prevented by General Miles. Crazy 
Horse was driven from his winter camp on the 
Tongue River, and followed until on the morn- 
ing of Jan. 8th, a fight ensued between Miles* 
force and 600 braves, in which the Indians were 
repulsed with heavy loss and driven back over 
the Wolf Mountains whence they fled to the Big 
Horn range. Here Miles sent word to them that 
they must surrender. This they concluded to do. 
On May 6th, 889 people and 2,000 ponies under 
Crazy Horse, came into Camp Robinson and 
.cnrrendered to General Crook. Sitting Bull and 
the remnant of his little band fled across the 
Canada line where he was joined by other 
Chiefs. On the 30th day of July 1881, Sitting 
Bull returned with all that was left of his once 
powerful camp, and surrendered at Port Buford. 

Chapter XV. 

IN these pages the reader has already become 
, acquainted with the Nez Perces, and has 
learned that they have, as a rule, been friend* 
ly. Their friendship has been sorely tested 
at times, both by their surroundings and by the 
folly of the whites, but it has ever proved of good 
quality. They invited missionaries in early 
times, they shared the patriotic enmity of our 
settlers against the encroachments of England, 
when her Hudson Bay Company would have 
stolen the whole of the North-west territory, they 
oflFered protection to the Lapwai mission after 
Whitman had fallen at Wailatpu, they stood for 
peace during the disturbances of 1855. While 
they may not have been forward in adopting the 
civilization of the white man, they have always 
proved a friend. 

They are racially, upper and lower Nez Perces. 
Ofthe latter, Joseph was chief, when Whitman 
was massacred. He came to meet the Oregon 
Volunteers with the speech .-—"When I left home t 

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I took the Book in my hand and brought it with 
me. It is my light. I heard the Americans 
were coming to kill me. Still I held my Book 
before me and came on.'* 

The Nez Perces never had a central chief of 
their own choosing. The Upper and Lower na- 
tions conceded the right of visitation, hunting and 
fishing to each other, but as to the control of 
their lands, the right was in the tribe which oc- 
cupied them permanently. 

The Nez Perces occupied desirable seats, so far 
as their tastes went The Lower Nez Perces 
were bounded on one side by the Snake River, 
and on the other by the Blue Mountains. Between 
are mountains and valleys, in such rapid success- 
sion as to make the country undesirable for 
whites, yet loveable to the Indians. Their Chief 
Joseph was an astute pliilosopher, with notions 
of land tenure that astonished those who came to 
treat with him and with a care for his people 
that was patriarchal. He would not sell land 
because no man owned any part of the earth. It 
was God's gift to all, and for a man to assume to 
part with what was not his own was impious. He 
refused to ratify the treaty of 1859, and advised 
his people not to receive the money and presents 
offered by the Government, lest the white man 



should say he had bought what the Indian could 

not sell. 

By 1863 the encroachment of the whites on the 
Nez Perces was such, and the quality of the 
whisky sold them was so bad, that conflicts arose 
and another treaty, as a means of further cheat- 
ing them, was deemed necessary. By this treaty 
the Uppef Nez Perces agreed to accept the limits 
of the reservation mapped for them at LapwaL 
The Lower Nez Perces refused to join in the 
treaty. But that did not save their lands 'for 

The Upper Nez Perces sold all their lands, not 
set forth in their reservation. This sale, by 
judicial knavery known only where English is 
spoken, was made to comprehend the lands of the 
Lower Nez Perces. The logic was that inas- 
much as Joseph had joined the other chiefs in 
giving title to lands sold as far back as 1855, 
he thereby acknowledged the tribal relation of 
the Nez Perces. Therefore, when the Northern 
Nez Perces chose to sell lands, they necessarily 
sold tribal lands, that is they sold Joseph*s lands, 
or the lands of the Lower Nez Perces. This/ 
trick of law and travesty on justice was an after- 
thought on the part of the authorities, for Joseph 
died in 1871, in blissful ignorance of the fact that 
his tribe had no place in whicjjjtg^^b^ qqq|^ 

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Joseph was succeeded by his sou, Thuuder- 
travcUing-ovcr-the-MounUius. He was the 
younger Joseph of the Nez Perces, six feet tall, 
grave and cautious, exact and resolute. He and 
his brother Ollacut were educated in Mrs. Spal- 
ding's Mission School, Though the whites con- 
tinued to swarm in his country, he ruled so as to 
avoid war. Even when outrages on Indians 
began in 1871, he took no revenge, but never 
abated his argument that the white man should 
leave the country. 

In 1875 and 1876, the conduct of the whites 
became unbearable. Indians were killed in 
sprees and quarrels, and yet no murder could be 
indicted. Joseph relied on that broken reed — 
the law, but it never came to vindicate the 
wronged of his tribe. In 1873 the question of 
title to the lands of the Lower Nez Perces reached 
a crisis. It was not thought that the sale made 
of outside lands by the Upper Nez Perces included 
those of the Lower Nez Perces. So steps were 
taken to set the Wallowa section off as a reserva- 
tion for the Lower Nez Perces. Congress refused 
to confirm the steps, for the reasons given above. 
The lands had already been sold and the Lower 
Nez Perces would have to go on the Lapwai res- 
ervation with their northern brothers. 

The consummation of this outrage excited the 
. attentioa of many people in Oregon who had not 
forgotten the good servicesof the NezPerces in the 
past They interested themselves in the forma- 
tion of a commission to investigate the matter. 
General O. O. Howard, then commanding the 
District of Columbia, was made a member of 
the Commission. The Commission met at Lap- 
wai and hadlong talks with the Chiefs. Joseph quite 
non-plussed them with the wisdom and truth of 
his statements. But marvelous as it may seem, 
though there was no attempt to counteract his 
wisdom, or dispute his facts, this Commission 
chosen in a christian spirit and for the purpose of 
meting justice, ratified the sale of Joseph's lands 
without his consent, and decided that if the 
Lower Nez Perces did not leave their country and 
go on to the Lapwai reservation they should be 
driven there by force. The same Commission 
recommended that the Cayuses, Umatillas and 
Walla-Walla^s vacate their peaceful homes and 
go on to the Umatilla reservation, because their 
numbers were too small to hold such quantities 
of land when so many white agriculturists were 
waiting to occupy them. 

General Howard was the ageht to enforce the 
decision of the Commission, by virtue of his office. 
He held several councils, which were of no avjul 

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except in that it was made plain that the Indians 
must go on to the Lapwai reservation or fight 
Joseph decided not to fight, but he could not 
control all his chiefs. Too-hul-hul-sute coun* 
seled resistance, and Joseph's decision was over- 
ruled. They formed war parties, armed them- 
selves thoroughly, practiced infantry and cavalry 
tactics. When the 30 days given them to vacate 
were up they were in excitement ready to resist. 
Their young bucks could not be restrained, and 
they engaged in murderous excesses. Blood 
whetted their appetites and they rode to camps 
showing the scalps they had taken. Joseph 
and Ollacut remained unmoved, but White 
Bird gave way and joined the riotous throng. 
Twenty warriors rode out of camp and 
back to Salmon River. Each one had his spite 
against some settler who had wronged him, and 
his hour for revenge had come. Several mur* 
ders were . committed and many houses were 
burned. These excesses were only drawing on 
them a sorry fate. They niade war inevitable, 
but not until it became so did Joseph cease his 
advice for peace. Then he took command, and 
moved his forces to White Bird Canyon. 

Colonel Perry came up in haste from Fort 
Lapwai, with 90 men. He entered the canyon» 
across which Joseph had stretched his men, hid« 



den by bushes and rocks. He had also ambush- 
ed a party of cavalry behind a hill ou the south 
of the canyon. When the soldiers came within 
range every bush and rock poured out its con- 
cealed fire. At the same moment the mounted 
warriors appeared on the left. Perry deployed 
his force so as to meet both attacks. Men were 
falling thick and fast The cry of " fall back to 
the next ridge ** was heard. The troops fell back, 
but the enemy were on their heels. The troops 
were in confusion. They could not stop at the 
ridge and all efforts to rally them proved unsuc- 
cessful. The Indians were pressing in on all 
sides to sunder the column and cut off retreat. 
Captain Teller was cut off, and wheeled into a 
side ravine, only to have his command cut to 
pieces. A. few only struggled up the steep sides 
and made their escape. The troops were now in 
full retreat, and were pursued for twelve miles. 
Sixt3F-five of them made their escape and re-form- 
ed far from the scene of battle and defeat. The 
quiet, unostentatious, friendly nation of Indians 
was in a twinkling transformed into doughty 
warriors, whose conquest would require heavy re- 

Additional troops were sent from all points. 
Skirmishing became almost continuous. The 
c«np of Looking GU«. g.^^^g. KS^fSgle 

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and destroyed, but his warriors escaped to Joseph. 
Lieutenant Rains and ten men went on a scout 
The entire force was killed. General Howard 
came up with all the troops he could muster— 
400 fighting men, with gatling guns and a how- 
itzer. Joseph had crossed to the Clear Water 
with 300 warriors. Here battle was joined. 
The troops had left their supply trains ungardcd. 
Joseph saw this and sent 30 warriors to capture 
it They were driven oflF by the cavalry, who 
detected the move in the nick of time. All after- 
noon the main battle progressed. Charges and 
countercharges were made with varying eflfects. 
All night both sides strengthened their positions 
and kept up the firing. In the morning fierce 
battle was renewed and continued till noon. 
Howard received a re-inforcement of cavalry, 
which joined the artillery in a charge on the In' 
diansleft. The fighting was furious for some time, 
but the Indians recoiled, broke and fled across 
the Clear Water, where they re-formed in suffic- 
ient numbers to protect the flight of the rest 
They were pursued by the troops, the next 

morning, but thepursuingcolumnwasambushed 
by ^e rear guard of the Nez Perces and thrown 
into confusion* Night found the Indians strong- 
ly encamped at the entrance to Solo trail. 
Joscph^s second battle had not been a victory but 

* \ 

he had conducted a masterly retreat It was de- 
signed to trap Joseph in this long and tortuous 
trail. But he was too wary for the troops. He 
threaded its mazes to the valley of the Lou-Lou, 
and thence to the Bitter Root General Gibbon, 
with a force of 190 cavalry from Helena, tried to 
intercept them on the Bitter Root, but failed. 
They had gone into the valley of the Big Hole 
River. Here they thought they were secure, 
but Gibbon had followed them closely and caught 
up with them. In the dim light of early mom* 
ing he struck their camp and charged completely 
through it The surprise seemed complete, but 
the warriors rallied and retook their camp. They 
drove the troops back behind defences and kept 
up battle with them through the day. Gibbon 
fell, wounded, and his hoMritzer fell a prize to the 
enemy. At night the Indians retreated leaving 
the troops so badly used up that they could not 
follow. The third battle was Joseph's victory. 
It was here that Howard joined Gibbon, and 
where the humane generals of the white troops 
permitted their Bannock auxiliaries to scalp the 
dead Nez Perces braves. The Nez Perces took 
no scalps and never mutilated the slain. Their 
greatest loss in this battle wasf their afdest diplo? 
mat| Looking Glas^^ 

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Joseph now crossed the divide into Idaho and 
camped on the Camas prairie. He was pursued 
by Howard, who also encamped on the prairie. 
Joseph planned a surprise, by which he ran oflF a 
great number of Howard's horses. Leaving his 
pursuer crippled, he passed through Tacker's 
Pass into the Ydlowstone Park, down the Yel- 
lowstone Lake, over the river through Clark's 
Canyonand back to the Yellowstone again. This 
feint was to avoid Sturgis' command of 350 caval- 
ry, whothought to head Joseph off in the valley of 
the Stinking Water River. ButSturgis soon found 
he had been deceived, and took up the chsiseinthe 
right direction. He struck the rear guard of the 
Nez Perces beyond the Yellowstone, and, though 
met by a severe fire, he pressed it so closely as 
to capture 400 ponies. The Indians entered 
Canyon Creek where they repelled attack 
throughout the day. In the morning Sturgis 
received a large re-inforcemcnt of Crow Indians, 
who succeeded in capturing 500 more ponies from 
the Ntt Perces. Joseph then retreated up the 
Mussel Shell River, back of Judith Mountain, and 
struck the Missouri at Cow Island, 123 miles 
below Port Benton, Here they attacked the 
guards and burned the goods at the landing. A 
force from Port Benton came down to attack 



them, but gave up in despair after a skirmish or 

The Indians moved slowly northward and 
encamped near the British line on Snake Creek. 
The telegraph was fleeter than their ponies. Col- 
onel Miles had left Fort Keogh with a large force 
of infantry, cavalry and a deadly Hotchkiss. 
Joseph did not know of this new force, which 
struck his trail at Cow Island. He was resting 
in his camp, when it was suddenly attacked and 
a herd of 800 cattle cut off. Two battalions of 
cavalry charged upon his camp, but were repulsed 
with the loss of a fifth of their force. Miles then 
disposed his forces so as to surround the Indians. 
The whites had the best of the situation but dare 
not attack, except at long range with shells from ^ 

the howitzer. For four days this situation was 
maintained. The Indians could have escaped at 
any time, if they had agreed to leave l>ehind their 
wounded, and the women and children. But this 
says Joseph, "We were unwilling to do. We 
never heard of a wounded Indian getting well 
while in the hands of a white man.'' 

Joseph had hope that Sitting Bull would come 
from his camp over the British line to 
his rescue.. To this end, he waited and parlied- 
with General Miles for several days. At length 
he concluded to surrender all that was left of hisJ p 


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band. OUacut, Dreamer-Drummer, Too-hul-liul- 
sute, and 27 others had perished here at this last 
camp. White Bird had made his escape with 105 
warriors, and had crossed into Canada. Joseph 
made most honorable terms. He well knew he 
would have to go on to a reservation, but he got the 
trippostponed till the pleasant weather of Spring, 
and was not deprived of any of his cattle or 

Of this war General Sherman says: — 
''Thus terminated one of the most extraordinary 
Indian wars on record. The Indians throughout 
displayed a courage and skill that elicited uni« 
veisal praise. They abstained from scalping, let 
captive women free, did not murder peaceful fami- 
lies and fought with almost scientific skill, using 
rearguards, skirmish lines and field fortifica* 


Chapter XVL 

IN 1878 the gold hunters of Colorado found not 
gold, but silver. There was a rush of 

emigrants thither, as in 1849 ^^ California. 

Leadville grew at the rate of 300 persons a 
day. Mining camps became thick as leaves 
and small towns sprang up like magic. Onward 
rolled the surge of migration till it beat 
against the barriers of the Ute reservations. 
Then arose the cry "the Utes must go I** 
Their lands were suspected of being rich in min- 
erals. They were only Indians, and therefore 
in the way. Any other reservation would be good 
enough for them. 

In 1879 the Utes were strong in numbers, well 
armed and rich in horses. The mining popula- 
tion started a furore which had for its object the 
expulsion of these Indians. Men organized at 
many points to ward oflf imaginary attacks. 
They invented excuses for warlike demonstrations 
and conjured up grievances to be avenged. The 
Utes 'jad never been severely hostile Their 

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country was not afiFected by any of the great 
trans-continental thoroughfares. Up until 1863 
the Government had never thought of making a 
treaty with them. Even then it would not have 
been regarded as necessary but for the fSwt that 
a fragment of Utes had been persuaded by the 
Navajos and Apaches to join them in marauding 
expeditions. This treaty of 1863 secured to the 
Utes their native lands in Western Colorado. In 
1868 another treaty was made which set apart a 
larger reservation for the entire Ute family, con- 
sisting of seven tribes or bands. There were 
several agencies on the reservation, but the prin- 
cipal one was on White River. It had ever 
been the desire of the Utes to have a country of 
their own and in giving it to them the United 
States made its dedication most solemn. 

Scarcely had the Utes received their first pay- 
ments under the treaty when the mines in the 
San Juan Country were discovered and miners 
flocked in regardless of the fact that they were 
trespassers on the reservation. A conflict occur- 
red, which was settled by the diplomatic old 
Chief Ouray, who agreed to cede a mining strip 
in the San Juan and Miguel Countries, provided 
the lines of the strip did not cutoflFany part of the 
Uncompahgre Park. This cession was ratified 
by Congress in 1874. Ouray's fears that his 



method of preserving peace would not be justified 
by the future were speedily realized. The In- 
dians were outrageously cheated in this deal. 
The government did not keep its promise to pay 
$25,000 annually forever for the ceded lands. 
The lines of the ceded lands were so arranged as 
to deprive the Utesi of some of their best farming 
lands and as they ran nearly through the centre 
of the Uncompahgre Park, the Indians received no 
equivalent lands in any other direction. 

Before the Indians could ascertain the magni- 
tude of their loss or take any steps to rectify the 
boundaries of their cession, their best farming 
lands around the mining towns were occupied by 
settlers who refused to move. In 1877 an order 
was issued by the War Department to remove 
the intruders by force. Secretary Schurz weak- 
ened on the order, and gave the intruders six 
mouths time. In the Spring of 1878 a similar 
order was issued, but by this tim? the settlers 
were numerous and defiant They threatened to 
precipate an Indian war if they were interfered 

with then. 

A commission was organized to look into the 
difficulty. It was found that most of the defiant 
settlers could be appeased if the Government 
would undertake to quiet their titles to about four 
square miles of territory. The commission the». 

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fore offered to buy from the Utes enough to sat- 
isfy the present desires of the settiers, and at the 
same time settle all troubles about the former 
cessions. The Utes were stubborn and the com- 
mission failed. But a delegation of Utes was 
brought to Washington the next winter, and, 
under the influence of the Capitol atmosphere, 
they were induced to acquiesce in the wishes of 
the settlers and part with their lands. 

These are a few of the events which, helped to 
sour the Utes against the whites. Within the 
reservation were factions. Some clung to 
Chief Ouray, others repudiated his authority. 
The White River Utes hardly recognized him. 
The agent there, for reasons best known to him- 
self, changed the agency to a point fifteen miles 
down the river. The White River's flew into a 
rage about it, and the agent, not understanding 
tjieir character, attempted to sustain himself by 
playing off one Indian faction against another. 
This incensed the Indians all the more. Their 
umbrage became centered on the agent, whom 
they accused of wishing to interfere wth their 
customs and privileges and of a design to turn 
a nation of hunters into ordinary plowmen. 

One of their number asssaulted the agent and 
would have killed him but for the interference of 
his employees. The agent wrote to Governor 



Pitkin for help, and gave it out that nothing but 
force would prove equal to an occasion in which, 
all the Indians sympathized. In response to the 
agent's request, three companies of cavalry and 
one of infantry marched from Fort Fred. Steele 
toward the Ute reservation. They were com- 
manded by Major Thomburg, and while at the 
Bear River Crossing, they were met by Chiefs 
Jack, Colorow and three other Utes. They « 
asked why he was coming. When told that he 
had been sent for by the agent, they denied all 
his reports, denied the right of the troops to enter 
the reservation and asked that the Major go, with 
five companions, and ascertain for himself how 
matters stood. The Major said he was under 
orders, and could only obey them. The Indians 
then went to the agent and asked him to stop the 
troops. He said it was none of his business, but 
on second thought he requested the Major to 
encamp outside of the reservation and come on 
with an escort. But unfortunately the troops 
had already entered the reservation at Red 
Canyon and were beginning to pass down the 
canyon. The Indians were in ambush along the 
bushy edges of the ravine. When they were 
discovered a parley was sought, in order that 
hostilities might be averted. Chief Jack had 

started from the Ute camo. with a simUar objectT^ 

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in view. The parle3ring parties never met, for 
firing began as soon as the troops made their 
appearance on the upland. 

The Indians proved to be in strong force. 
Captain Payne threw his company into skirmish 
line on the left, and Captain Lawson on the 
right. The wagon traiu was ordered to pack. 
The Indians pressed the troops hotly. They 
massed to cut o£f the retreat of the whites and 
Major Thomburg ordered his troops to fall 
bade on the wkgon train. In executing this 
movement the Major was killed. Captain Payne 
took command and instantly set the troops to 
fortifying. Pick and shovel went to work. 
Dead horses were piled up as breast-works. 
Sacks of feed and bedding became bulwarks for 
sharp shooters. The men worked and fought 
nobly amid the groans of the wounded and dying. 
The crack of the Indian rifle was heard on every 
hand. The sage brush and grass took fire and 
the flames crept up toward the breastworks of 
the troops. There was no water and the troopers 
were forced to drop their tools and weapons and 
smother the fire with their blankets. Some of 
their wagons took fire and were saved with 'diffi- 
culty. The situation was a desperate one, but 
when the smoke lifted the very element that had 
proved so alarming turned out to be a source of 




protection. The burning of the sedge had 
destroyed the cover of the Indians and they were 
forced to seek the shelter of the bluffs which were 
some 400 yards distant. While they still com- 
manded the situation they could do but little 
harm with their rifles at that range. 

Word of the battle was sent to the agency In- 
dians who kept it a .secret from the agent, in 
whom they had lost all confidence. They be- 
lieved the agent had deceived them as to Major 
Thomburg's expedition and intentions, and so 
resolved .to meet treachery with treachery. That 
night they held a war dance. The agent sent a 
message next morning to Major Thomburg, not 
knowing he had been killed, and the carrier was 
escorted by two Indians. A few miles out the 
carrier was killed by his escort, Antelope and 
Ebenezer, who hastened back to the agency. 
Meanwhile the Indians there had broken into the 
storeroom and helped themselves to agency guns 
and ammunition. Twenty of them then started 
out to meet Antelope and Ebenezer. When they 
had met them all returned and immediately 
opened fire on the agency. Several of the em- 
ployees fell at the first fire, and the rest with their 
families sought the cover of the respective houses. 
The hattle raged at intervals throughout the day, 

the Indians plundering the stores 1 during theT/> 
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lulls. At night they fired several of the build* 
ings. This drove meUi women and children from 
their covers, and in the indiscriminate firing 
which followed many of the women and children 
were shot The rest, including the agents wife^ 
were taken captive. The wreck of the agency 
was complete. 

Chief Ouray was out on a hunting expedition 
with his band while these atrocities were going 
on. On hearing of them he returned at once to 
Los Pinos and prepared an order to the White 
River Chiefs to stop fighting. Its bearer, Joseph 
Brady, bore it to the hostiles who at once agreed 
to obey. Brady als6 communicated with the 
soldiers, who were still holding desperately to 
their position near the mouth of the Red Canyon. 
They had been re-inforced by Dodge's company 
of colored troops, who were doing good work in 
strengthening the fortifications. Further re-in- 
forcements came in under Colonel Merritt, who 
took entire command. He found that the losses 
thus hr footed up 13 killed and 43 wounded. 
The Indians were preparing to engage Merritt 
when Ouray's order reached them. There was 
no more regular fighting, though several valuable 
lives were lost in desultory skirmishing 

Very soon Merritt marched his <^ommand to 
White River Agency. * All alone his line of 



marcn v^ZXQ evidences of the fury of the Indiaiii?;^ 
in the shape of dead bodies, and the agency was 
a scene of desolation. Every building, except 
one, had been burned. No sign of life appeared 
and the ground was strewn with articles of every 
kind. Every here and there were the bodies of the 
victims. The body of the agent was found one 
hundred yards from his house with a bullet hole 
through his brain, a barrel stave thrust into his 
mouth and a chain around his neck. The burial 
of the dead, some of whose bodies had been eaten 
by wolves, occupied the time of the troops for a 
day after their arrival. 

The next object was to recover the captive 
women. Special agent Adams was sent with an 
escort of 15 Utes to the camp of the hostiles to 
effect their release. The hostiles gave them a 
stormy welcome. Some were in favor of surren- 
dering them and keeping peace, the rest 
wished to kill Adams and go on with the war. 
Fortunately the wife of one of the hostiles was 
a sister of Ouray, and the wife of another had been 
cured of a serious illness by Mrs. Meeker, wife of 
the agent at White River. These stood out for 
the release of the captives. All in all, peaceful 
counsels gotthe upper hand, and the captives were 
released. They steted that they had been treated 
with consideration K^' their capton, I^OOQIc 

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There was now no father use for the troops on 
the reservation and they were withdrawn. Sub- 
sequently two commissions appointed to investi- 
gate the trouble and demand the surrender of the 
ring-leaders for punishment, sat through tedious 
sessions. They could get no satisfaction and 
arrived at no conclusion. But the upshot of the 
whole aflfairwas that in 1880, thelites were given 
seperate reservations, according to their bands, and 
those of the White River were placed under the 
jurisdictionof the Uintah Agency* 


Chapter XVIL 


r^ VEN with Indians, a war must have a reason. 

1^ We may call the recent demonstrations 

^^ by the Sioux and kindred tribes, a craze, 

an uprising, a war, or by what name we 

please ; it is fuller of meaning for the white race 

and for the Federal Government than anything 

that goes to make the weird chapters of Indian 

annals. And it is being studie4, too, from many 

standpoints, all of which are sources of light. 

For many months we read of Indian distur- 
bances in the neighborhood of the Pine Ridge 
reservation, a reservation devoted to the powerful 
Sioux tribe, or such of it as can be induced to 
stay on it. These disturbances grew more fre- 
quent and pronounced. They extended more 
widely, till they embraced several of the neigh- 
boring tribes who are akin to the Sioux. By 
and by the various reservations seemed to be 
ablaze with excitement The Indians left their 
reservations and began to cluster as armed bands. 
There was every evidence of a great conspiracy 
for 5ome bloody purpose. Settlers left their 
homes and rushed to the agencies and forts fpr^ 

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protection. States and the general Govenuuen& 
pnt their troops on a war footing. It looked as 
thongh there might he a gigantic and hloody In- 
dian war. Bnt preparation proved to he timely, 
thanks to large facilities for transportation and a 
wise concentration of forces. 

The Sioux represent one of the largest and 
hravest tribes of the Northwest For thirteen 
years, what maybe called the respectable portion 
of the tribe, has lived on its reservation, has 
come to own horses and cattle, and has sent 
many of its children to eastern schools for an 
education. It is a tribe in which missionaries 
have worked with success, and have imparted a 
fidr degree of moral culture and Christian 
doctrine. Therefore, it is hardly to be expected 
that it would plunge into war without a reason. 

The real beginning of the uprising dates from^ 
the visit of the Sioux to the Utes in Utah. The 
religion of the Utes is a graft of Christianity on 
their own m3rthology, and one of its solemnities 
is the superstitious dance, resembling the Sun 
dance of old. 

But although this dance was brought back 
with the Sioux, it was, when in its infanqr» 
purely of a religious character, and it was only 
when the medicine men and politicians in the 
xudon began to enlarge upon the wrongs suffered 




at the hands of the whites, the scarcity of food, 
the presence of the military, that its general 
aspect was changed from the sacred rite to a 
warlike demonstration. But for these com- 
plications and the lack of prompt action on 
the part of prominent officials, the craze might 
have been easily suppressed, and the dancers 
returned to their camps on the agency creeks 
without any trouble whatever. 

The Indians located in the Dakotas have been 
in the habit of visiting the Utes and Arrapahoes 
every summer for the purpose of trading and 
hunting en route. While the Sioux are unable to 
converse with these tribes, means of communica- 
tion is possible through the medium of the sign- 
language, which is well understood by all Indians^ 
throughout the West Keeps the Battle (Kicizapil 
Tawa) relates that it was during the visit of the 
Pine Ridge Sioux, in July, 1890, that he first 
heard, of the coming of the new Messiah. His 
story as told by a correspondent of the " Illus- 
trated AmericaUy^ which periodical we must also 
:redit with other valuable facts in connection 
with the Messiah craze, is as follows : — 

" Scarcely had my people reached the Ute vil- 
lage when we heard of a white preacher whom the 
Utes held in the highest esteem, who told a beau- 
tiful dream or vision of the coming of a great and[^ 

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good red man. This strange person was to set 
aright the wrongs of my people ; he could restore 
to us our game and hunting-grouaJs^ was so pow- 
erful that every wish or word he gave utterance 
to became fulfilled. 

His teachings had a strange effect upou the 
TJtes, and| in obedience to the commands of this 
mauy they began a Messiah Dance, My people 
did not pay much attention to this dance at first, 
and it was not until we took our departure that 
the matter began to weigh heavily upon the minds 
of a number in the party. As we left the Ute 
• camp the minister stood with uplifted hands and 
invoked the blessing of the Great Spirit upon us. 
He told us to look for the coming of the Saviour, 
and assured us that he would soon and unexpect- 
edly arrive. He further cautioned us to be watch- 
ing and ready to accompany him to the bright 
and Happy Hunting Grouuds, to be sorry for our 
sins, to institute a Messiah Dance among our peo- 
ple at Pine Ridge, and to keep up this dance until 
the Lord himself should appear.'' 

Immediately upon the arrival of the hunting* 
party at Pine Ridge, a small dance was held in 
imitation of the ones they had seen while among 
the Utes, but until the medicine men began to 
superintend th« ceremonies nothing unusual 
occurred. The dances were held every few days 

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until the middle of August. Then, with scarcely 
any warning, a wild and general desire took pos- 
session of a large part of the nation to welcome 
the expected Messiah the moment he set foot 
upon earth. The agent, then at the agency, fear- 
ing that the enthusiasm of the Sioux might 
terminate in an outbreak, visited White Bird's 
camp accompanied by fourteen Indian police. As 
he approached the village, twenty savage fellows 
sprang out of the brush, and, drawing their Win- 
chesters, called upon him to halt. They would 
not permit him to advance, and compelled the 
party to turn about and retrace its footsteps to 
the agency, threatening death should Galagher 
attempt to interfere with their dance. 

The news of this bold action spread like wild- 
fire through the country, and, being heralded and 
exaggerated by the daily press, caused many an 
uneasy and timid settler to prepare his goods for 
shipment to the nearest point upon the rail- 

The news of the failure of the agent to stop 
the Messiah Dance was carried by couriers to the 
Indians at Rosebud and Standing Rock Reserva- 
tions, and the more susceptible Indians became 
infatuated with the new fad. Meetings and 
dances were arranged at points distant from the 

agency posts, in order that no employee might j /> 
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interfere. Of course, both the Sioux and thv 
whites were much excited. The former were 
ready and willing to throw off forever the odious 
yoke of oppression ; the latter, fearful for the 
safety of their homes and families. If the dances 
continued to be religious and there was nothing 
of a warlike nature introduced, there could be no 
objection to the Sioux dancing as long and as 
hard as they desired. But older residents, and 
those acquainted with Indian warfare, knew well 
that an outbreak was always preceded by a series 
of dances. While these men were quite familiar 
with Indian nature, they failed to discern between 
a religious ceremony and a war dance. Hence 
the very grave error followed of accusing many 
friendly Indians, who had joined the dance for no 
other purpose than worship, of hostile intentions. 
This accusation, coupled with the arrival of some^ 
four or five times as many troops as were neces- 
sary to subdue the small number of lodges 
which later fled into the borders of the Bad 
Lands, had the effect of turning the more timid 
toward the agency, while the braver middle-aged . 
and young men fled to the northward. J 

The aged Red Cloud, a chief of the Sioux, 
thus describes the beginning of the Messiah 



" We felt that we were mocked in our misery. 
We had no newspapers and no one to speak for 
us. We had no redress. Our rations were again 
reduced. You who eat three times each day, and 
' see your children well and happy around you, 
can't understand what starving Indians feel. We 
were faint with hunger and maddened by despair. 
We held our dying children, and felt their little 
bodies tremble as their souls went out and left 
only a dead weight in our hands. They were not 
very heavy, but we ourselves were very faint, and 
the dead weighed us down. There was no hope 
on earth, and God seemed to have forgotten us. 
Some one had again been talking of the Son ot 
God, and said He had come. The people did not 
know ; they did not care. They snatched at the 
hope. They screamed like crazy men to Him for 
mercy. They caught at the promises they heard 
He had made." 

It is quite natural to suppose that the agent 
was not a little frightened at his reception near 
** White Bird's** camp, and, as subsequent events 
would seem to indicate, he feared to assert his 
authority and compel the Sioux to discontinue 
their daiice. He hoped that in time the craze 
would die out without interference on his part 
But, insteadof ceasing, the numbers participating 

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increased, and really things began to assume a 
very threateuing aspect. 

The dancers were not slow to take advantage 
of non-interference, and a report gained wide cir- 
culation to the effect that their agent was afraid 
to command the police to arrest the principals in 
the dance. The medicine men and Indians of 
the same stamp as the late Sitting Bull addressed 
tlie young men somewhat after the following 
manner : — 

" Do you not see that the whites on the reserva- 
tion are afraid of you ? Why do you pray to 
great Wakantanka to send the Saviour on earth 
and bring about a change when the remedy lies 
in your own hands ? Be men, not childrei;. You 
have a perfect right to dance upon your own res- 
ervation as much as you please, and you should 
exercise this right, even if you find it necessary 
to use your guns. Be brave, and the great and 
good Wakantanka will aid your arms. Be cow- 
ards, and he will be ashamed of you.'' 

When the Ghost or Messiah Dance was first 
given on Pine Ridge Reservation by the Sioux 
who had been in Utah on a visit to the Ute Indi- 
ans, there were many on-lookers. These became 
interested as the dance proceeded, for such was its 
influence upon a beholder that he felt an irresis* 
tible desire to join the circle. 


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The largeist catxnp of the daiicers prior to the 
departure for the north was located on Wounded 
Knee Creek* Other camps of considerable extent 
existed upon White Clay Creek, four miles from 
the agency headquarters, upon Porcupine and 
Medicine Root streams. 

When the medicine men took the Ghost Dance 
under their charge one man was appointed 
" High Priest," to have entire control of the cere- 
monies. His four assistants were likewise in- 
vested with power to start' or stop the dance at 
will. They were given authority to punish 
any person who should refuse to obey their 

While the priests are employed in their prayers 
the squaws make a good-sized sweat-house. Poles 
are stuck in the ground and the tops bent 
together and securely tied. These saplings are 
strong enough to bear the weight of several hun- 
dred pounds. Over the framework are heaped 
blankets and robes to such a thickness that no 
smoke or steam can pass from the interior. A 
fire is started in a hole in the ground several 
feet from the small entrance to the sweat-lodge, 
and twenty or thirty good-sized stones are placed 
therein to be heated. When these rocks have 
become sufficiently hot, the young men who are 
to partake of the bath, strip, with the exceptioxlp 


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of the breech-clout| and crawl through the doon 
They seat themselves in a circle, with their feet 
toward the centre and their backs against the 
sides of the lodge. The attendant shoves some 
of the hot stones inside, and the young men pour 
water from a hide-bucket upon the little stone 
heap. Steam and vapor arise, completely filling 
the enclosure. The attendant has meanwhile 
covered the opening so that no air from the out- 
side may penetrate. As the vapor condenses, the 
attendant thrusts more stones within, and thus 
the operation is continued' as long as the youths 
can stand the confinement The pipe is also 
smoked during the sweat When the young 
men issue from their bath the perspiration is 
fairly streaming from every pore. If it is not 
cold weather they plunge into a pool in the creek 
near by, but if it be chilly they wrap blankets 
about their bodies. None of the whites and half- 
breeds who have witnessed these things ever saw 
a Sioux rub himself after issuing from the bath. 
Several sweat-houses are erected in order to 
prepare the young men for the dance. When a 
good number of young men, say fifty or sixty, 
have thus prepared thenfselves, the high-priest 
and his assistants come forward. The high- 
priest wears eagle-feathers in his hair, and a short 
tldtt teaches £rom his waist nearly to his knees. 



The assistants are dressed in a similar manner, 
but wear no ornaments other than the eagle- 
feathers. The dancers wear no ornaments what- 
ever and enter the circle without their blankets, 
many of them only wearing their ordinary 

That Indians should lay aside all ornaments 
and finery, and dance without the trappings 
which they so dearly love, proves conclusively 
that some powerful religious influence is at work. 
In their other dances, the Omaha, the Old 
Woman, the Sun, and War Dances, feathers and 
bangles, weapons, herbs or painted and plaited 
grasses, porcupine quills, horses' tails and bits 
of fur-skins, necklaces, bells, silver disks, etc., 
are worn in great profusion. 

The candidates for " conversion" do not fast, 
as has often been stated. After they have come 
forth from the sweat-house they are ready to 
enter the sacred circle. The high-priest runs 
quickly from the village to the open space of 
ground, five or six hundred yards distant, and 
stationing himself near the sacred tree, begins 
his chant as follows : 

Hear, hear you all persons « 

Come, hurry up and dance, and when you have 
finished running in the circle, tell these people^ 
what you have seen in the spirit land.. 


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I myself have been in the spirit land and have 
seen many strange and beautiful things, all of 
which great Wakantanka rules over and which 
my eyes tell me are good and true. 

As the speaker proceeds, the men and women 
leave their tepees and crowd to the dance-ground. 
They form two or three circles, according to the 
number of persons who wish to participate, andi 
grasping hands with fingers interlocked (^^ Indian 
grip"), the circles begin to move around toward 
the left. They rub their palms in dust or sand to 
prevent slipping, for it is considered unlucky for 
one to break connections. 

The sacred tree is a nearly straight sapling 
thirty or forty feet high, trimmed of branches to 
a height of several feet To the topmost twigs - 
is attached a small white flag or canvas strip, 
supposed to be an emblem of pnrity, together 
with some of colors. The base of the tree is 
wrapped with rushes and flags to a thickness of 
about five feet Between the reeds the dancers 
from time to time thrust little gifts or peace-ofier- 
ings* These offerings are supposed to allay the 
anger of the Great Spirit, and are given in per- 
fectly good faith by the poor natives. They con* 
sist of small pieces of calico, bags of tobacco or 
pipes. During the heat of excitement, those 
vorshippers most deeply affected cut small parti* 



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cles of flesh from their arms, and thnist these, 
also, between the rushes of the holy tree. 

As the circle moves toward the left, the pnest 
and his assistants cry out loudly for the dancers 
to stop a moment. As they pause he .raises his 
hands towards the west, and upon all the people 
acting similarly, begins the following remarka* 
ble prayer : 

Great Spirit, look at us now. Grandfather and 
Grandmother have come. All these good people 
are going to see Wakantanka, but they will be 
brought safely back to earth. Everything that 
is good you will see there, and you can have 
these things by goiug there. All things that you 
hear there will be holy and true, and when you 
return you can tell your friends how spiritual it 

As he prays, the dancers cry aloud with all the 
fervor of religious fanatics. They moan and sob, 
many of them exclaiming : "Great Father, I want 
you to have pity upon me." 

One can scarcely imagine tje terrible earnest- 
ness of these people. The scene of the dance, 
especially at night, is most weird and ghost-like. 
The fir«s are very large, and shed a bright reflec- 
tion all around. The breasts of the worshippers 
heave with emotion ; they groan and cry as if 

they were suffering great agony, andf as the prie^i ^ 

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begs them to ask great Wakantanka to forgive 
their sins, such a cry of despair and anguish ) 
arises as to deeply affect even the whites present, j 

After prayer and weeping, and offerings have 
been made to the sacred pole, the dance is started 
again. The dancers go rather slowly a£ first, and 
as the priests in the centre begin to shout 
and leap about, the dancers partake of the en* 
thusiasm. Instead of moving with a regular 
step, each person jumps backward and forward, 
up and down, as hard as he or she can without 
relinquishing their hold upon their neighbor's 
hand. One by one the dancers fall out of the ranks, 
some staggering like drunken men, others wildly 
rushing here and there almost bereft of reason. 
Many &11 upon the earth to writhe about as if 
possessed of demons, while blinded women throw 
their clothes over their heads and run through 
brush or against trees. The priests are Icept 
busy waving eagle-feathers in the faces of the 
most violent worshippers. The feather is con- 
sidered sacred, and its use, together with the 
mesmeric glance and motion of the priest, soon 
causes the victim to fall into a trance or deep 
sleep. Whether this sleep is real or feigned the 
writer does not pretend to say, but sufficiently 
deep is it that whites visiting the dance have 
been unable to rouse the sleepers by jest or blow. 


Unquestionably the priests exercise an in- 
fluence over the more susceptible of the dancers 
akin to hypnotism. One of the young men, who 
danced in the ghost circle twenty times, narrates 
that the priest " Looked very hard at us. Some 
of the young men and women could not with- 
stand his snake-like gaze, and did whatever he 
told them/* 

Regarding what is seen by the converts when 
in the spirit land there is much speculation. 

Little Wound gives his experience thus: 
"When I fell in the trance a great and grand 
eagle came and carried me over a great hill, 
where there was a village such as we used to have 
before the whites came into the country. The 
tepees were all of buffalo hides, and we made use 
of the bow and arrow, there being nothing of 
white man's manufacture in the beautiful land. 
Nor were any whites permitted to live there. 
Th? broad and fertile lands stretched in every 
direction, and were most pleasing to my eyes. 

I was taken into the presence of the great 
Messiah, and he spoke to me these words : 

" My child, I am glad to see you. Do you 
want to see your children and relations who 
are dead? *• 

I replied : "Yes, I would like to see my rela- 
tions who have been dead a lonft time.** The 

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God then caned my friends to come up to where 
I was. They appeared, riding the finest horses 
I ever saw, dressed in superb and most brilliant 
garments, and seeming very happy. As they 
approached, I recognized the playmates of my 
childhood, and I ran forward to embrace them 
while the tears of joy ran down my cheeks. 

We all went together to another village, where 
there were very large lodges of buflFalo hide, and 
there held a long talk with the great Wakan tanka. 
Then he had some squaws prepare us a meal of 
many herbs, meats, and wild fruits and ' Vasna'' 
(pounded beef and choke-cherries). After we had 
eaten, the Great Spirit prayed for our people 
upon the earth, and then we all took a smoke 
out of a fine pipe ornamented with the most 
beautiful feathers and porcupine quills. Then 
we left the city and looked into a great valley 
where there were thousands of buffalo, deer, and 
elk feeding. 

After seeing the valley, we returned to tht 
city, the Great Spirit speaking meanwhile. H^ 
told me that the earth was now dadsmd worn out; 
that we needed a new dwelling-place where the 
rascally whites could not disturb us. He further 
instructed me to return to my people, the Sioux, 
and say to them that if they would be constant 
in the dance and pay no attention to the whites 





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he would shortly come to their aid. If the high 
priests would make for the dancers medicine 
shirts and pray over them, no harm could come 
to the wearer ; that the bullets of any whites that 
desired to stop the Messiah Dance would fall to 
the ground without doing any one harm, and the 
person firing such shots would drop dead* He 
said that he had prepared a hole in the ground 
filled with hot water and fire for the reception of 
all white men and non-believers. With these 
parting words I was commanded to return to 

There are intermissions every hour in the pro- 
gress of the dance, and during these pauses 
several pipes are passed around. Bach smoker 
blows a cloud upward toward the supposed dwell- 
ing-place of the Messiah. He inhales deep 
draughts of the fragrant smoke of r^d willow- 
bark into his lungs, blows it out through his nose, 
and then passes the pipe to. his neighbor. 

The songs are sung without accompaniment 01 
a drum, as is customary in the other dances. All 
sing in unison, and the notes, although wild and 
peculiar, being in a minor key, do not lack 

Just after the dancers have been crying and 
moaning about their sins the priests strike up 
the 'first song, in which all join, singing witk 

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deafening loudness. Some man or woman may 
be at tliis moment at tlie tree, with his or her 
arms thrown about the rusheS| sobbing as if the 
heart would break ; or another may be walking 
and ciying, wringing his hands, or going thrpugh 
some motion to indicate the deepest sorrow for 
his transgressions. So the singer cries aloud to 
his mother to be present and aid him. The 
appeal to the father refers, of course, to the 
Messiah, and its use in this connection is sup- 
posed to give emphasis to the demand for the 
mother^s presence and hasten her coming. 

The second song expresses in brief the good- 
ness of the father. Some one of the dancers has 
come to life from the trance, and has just related 
his or her experience in the other world. The 
Messiah, or Father, has been very near to the 
subject, and the high-priest, enlarging upon the 
importance of this fact, runs about the interior 
of the circle Iianding several pipes around, ex* 
claiming that these pipes were received direct 
from the Great Spirit, and that all who smoke 
them will live. The people are worked up to- 
such a pitch of religious frenzy that their minds 
' are now willing to receive any utterance as truth 
undisputable, so they pass around the pipes, 
singing the song meanwhile. The repetition of 


the words, "This the father said," gives more 
weight to the song. 

One of the visions seen oy a young woman, 
when under the influence of the trance, varied 
somewhat from the others. Her story runs 

thus :— 

** I was carried into the beautiful land as others 
have been, and there I saw a small but well-made 
lodge constructed entirely of rushes and reeds. 
These were woven closely together and resembled 
the fine basket-work that many of our squaws 
make during the winter. The tepee was provi- 
ded with a stone wall, which was composed of 
small, flat stones laid up against the wall to the 
height of three or four feet In this lodge the 
great Wakautanka dwelt and would issue forth 
at noon. Promptly at the time whea the sun 
was above me the lodge trembled violently and 
then began its descent toward the earth. It landed 
near the dance-ground, and there stepped forth a 
man clothed in a blanket of rabbit-hides. This 
was the Messiah, and he had come to save us." 

The vision of Little Horse is still more remark- 

" Two holy eagles transported me to the Happj 
Hunting Grounds. They showed me the Great 
Messiah there, and as I looked upon his fair 
countenance I wept, for there were nail-prints in 

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liis hands and feet where the cruel whites had once 
fastened him to a large cross. There was a small 
wound in his side also, but as he kept himself 
covered with a beautiful mantle of feathers this 
wound only could be seen when he shifted his 
blanket He insisted that we continue the 
dance, and promised me that no whites should 
enter his city nor partake of the good things he 
had prepared for the Indians. The earth, he 
said, was now worn out and it should be re- 

He had a long beard and long hair and was 
the most handsome man I ever looked upon/' 

The personal experience of the Weasel may 
be of interest: 

'* While dancing I saw no visions, but the other 
Indians told me to not think of anything in 
particular, but keep my eyes fastened upon the 
priests, and soon I would see all that they saw. 

** The first large dance held was on Wounded 
Knee Creek under the guidance of Big Road. I 
attended this one, but did not observe Two Strike 
in the audience. We had been dancing irreg* 
ularly for several weeks when a runner came into 
camp greatly excited, one night, and said that 
the soldiers had arrived at Pine Ridge and were 
sent by the Great Father at Washington. The 
priests called upon the young men at this junc* 




ture not to become angry but to continue the 
dance, but have horses ready so that all could 
flee were the military to charge the village. So 
we mounted our ponies and rode around the hills 
all night singing our two songs. Never before 
in the history of the "Dakotas** (the name 
by which the Sioux call themselves, meaning 
" allies**) has a dance like this been known. We 
did not carry our guns nor any weapon, but 
trusted to the Great Spirit to destroy the soldiers." 

When there is no night dance the Sioux pass 
the time playing a new. and favorite game called 
** stick guess.** It is very simple, for there is 
nothing used save a short stick held in the 
clinched hand. The Indian making a wager. 
that he can signify in which hand the stick is 
concealed, points to the palm beneath which . 
he thinks the stick lies. If he wins, besides the 
wager he receives a larger portion of,dog soup 
than the others. 

Speaking of the situation at Pine Ridge, at the 
dawn of the Messiah craze, an able correspondent 
says ; — " Had the agency employees and their 
head acted in concert, and asserted the authority 
given them by the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, the whole matter could hav? been settled 
without great trouble. Philanthropists, while 
meaning weU, from a l^ck gf knowledge of^th^j^ 

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nature of an Indian treat him in such a sympa 
thetic manner— -often selecting the most worths 
less and lazy Indians to bestow their favors upon 
— ^that he becomes puffed up with his own impor- 
tance. Egotism leads to insoknce, and insolence 
gets him into serious trouble with the agency 
employees and Westerners in general. The 
Catholics, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians are 
all doing a good work, and it is not my purpose 
to say much against them ; but they should work 
in unison, not against each other. The Indian 
cannot understand how so many beliefs could 
spring from one good book, and, naturally sus- 
picious, when he hears one missionary speak dis- 
paragingly of the salvation afforded by a rival 
church, concludes the whole set are humbugs. 

When the commission visited the agency in 
the summer of 1889, for the purpose of securiug 
signatures to the treaty whereby the Sioux relin- 
quished claim to several million acres of their 
land, a number of promises were made by the 
commissioners which were never kept. The gen- 
tlemen, returning to Washington, engrossed wit^ 
the many political cares and social pleasures jf 
the capital city, soon forgot the sacred promises 
assured to the Sioux. Not so with the Indians 
themselves. \s they sat about their tepee £res 
and discussed the affairs of their nation,, they 





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often wondered why the increase in rations did ' 
not come, why the presents were so long dela3'ed. 

An Indian never forgets a promise. 

Can it be wondered, then, that the Sioux lost 
what little remaining faith they had in the. 

As they brooded over their wrongs, the scarc- 
ity of rations, and the miserable treatment of 
Red Cloud, the man who has taken a firm stand 
in favor of the whites, the Messiah craze came. 
Imagine with what joy they hailed the coming 
of Him who was to save and rescue them. How 
they hoped and prayed, only to be deluded and 
again cast into the depths of despairl Even this 
last boon and comfort was refused by their con- 
querors ; for no sooner had the news of the com- 
ing Saviour reached the ears of the Great Father 
at Washington than he ordered his soldiers to 
the frontier to suppress the worship of any Indian, 
^ho should dare to pray to his God after the dic- 
tates of his own conscience." 

All through the summer and fall of 1890 the 
ghost dances became more frequent and intensi- 
fied, and the Messiah craze ran like a prairie fire 
through the various tribes of the North. Tribes 
of the same tongue and recognized as of one 
blood, which had been hostile to one another, be- 
came friends. A general desertion of their reser- 

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' vations took place, followed, very naturally by 
a concentration of the tribes, the general direc- 
tion being towards the seats of the more power* 
ful Sioux, and the effect being to make their 
agen^ at Pine Ridge a centre of activities. The 
movements of these excited bodies were myster- 
ious. The nature of their demonstrations were 
not understood. Excitement was rife in all the 
white settlements and a feeling of alarm pervad- 
ed all the agencies. Rumors spread in all direc- 
tions, of the wildest sort. The Indians mingled 
tales of their hard treatment with their religious 
songs, and their religious dances assummed 
more and more the form of war dances. They 
appeared in them fully armed, dressed in war 
paint and feathers, covered with their ghost 
shirts which were believed to be impervious to 
bullets. The spirit of fatalism spread and they 
courted death at the hands of white men, believing 
that it would be a speedy transport to a happier 
sphere. While they abstained from a formal 
declaration of war, from organized hostility, mur- 
ders and depredations became frequent. The 
running offof live stock from the neighborhood 
of the agencies and settlements was a sport which 
had special attractions for the young bucks 
whose infatuation had gained control. The situa- 
tion was decidedly volcanic, and no one knew 

1 . 


what circumstance might precipitate bloody war 

in the twinkling of an eye. 

There was no course for the Government ex- 
cept to be prepared for the worst, hence began 
the concentration of troops This work was has- 
tened Justin proportion as the power of the Indian 
police weakened. The Indians grew more defiant 
of orders to go back to their resen^tions. They 
sullenly withdrew from the. neighborhood of the 
. agencies, andbetookthemselvesto the mountain- 
oL and inaccessible "bad-lands," where they 
could deliberate secretly, dance at will, and be 
secure against attack; or, whence they could 
issue in formidable strength in case war were 
determined on. The Dakotas, therefore, became 
a scene of martial activity, seldom witnessed, and 
the attention of the whole country was attracted 
toward the Northwest. It was a winter scene, 
too, and that made it all the more interesting. 

The first snows of winter fell on the tents of one 
cavalry and two infantry regiments encamped 
at Pine Ridge; one cavalry and ^e wintry tegi- 
ment at the moutii of the Belle Fouche in S. W. 
Dakota ; one infantry regiment at Fort Pieire and 
one at Fort Yates, while one <»>n»lry and two m- 
fantry regiments were placed m camp at Fwrt 
S.^^«*^o^«*>^y bloody fight., and the 

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spot where General Miles forced the surrender of 
the fiery Cheyennes in 1877. 

It was fortunate that these forces, and those 
which were to co-operate with them, were under 
the command of an officer like General Miles, a 
bom Indian fighter, a thorough student 'of Indian 
character, and a man in whom the humanities 
have a large place. When his policy developed 
it was seen to take the shape of a firm presenta- 
tion of force, without seeming to use force. The 
moral effect of well armed and disciplined num- 
bers would win the most decisive victory, because 
bloodless, if only those untimely provocations 
which start an avalanche or explode a powder mill 
could be avoided for a sufficient length of time. 

The position of the troops was in the nature of 
a cordon, which could be relaxed or tightened, as 
circumstances required. Thus the whole scene 
of activity was, under the winter snows, pictur- 
csque. The Sibley tents of the white troopers, 
contrasted in neatness and comfort with the tepees 
of the Indians, after which they were patterned 
Amid the uncertainties of the hour and the dan- 
gers which constantly threatened, camp-life could 
not grow monotonous, nor could the severest dis- 
cipline be relaxed for a moment The American 
soldier was called upon to do duty in a tempera- 
ture far below zero. As long as roads could be 



kept open, the supplies could be had in abun. 
dance, through the agency of the government 
mule teams. It was only when called to go on a 
distant scout, or in search of a band of renegade 
Indians, amid one ofthose peculiar sand blizzards 
of the region, that the enemy could be certain of 
any advantage. In all else the Indian was at a 
decided disadvantage. His tepees were not so 
warm as the Sibley's. His food supplies were 
more precarious. His discipline was his infatua- 
tion, the coherence of complaint united with 

The tract of country surrounded by the troops 
and occupied by the disaffected Indians, was em- 
braced within boundaries made by the Cannon 
Ball, Missouri and Niobrarra Rivers, and by a 
line drawn northward through Forts Robinson 
and Meade to the Cannon Ball. There was no 
outlet to the East. To the South all was thickly 
peopled. To the West there was nothing but 
starvation. To the North was the North Pacific 
Railroad which could be lined in a few hours 
with troops for defence. The problem the^ 
Indians were gradually made to fa^e was, there- 
fore, extermination if they should grow so infat- 
uated as to attack, or final acquiescence as time 
gave opportunity for them to cool of As yet,^ 
but little had occurred to resolve the uncertainties 

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of the siiuatioiL The camps are flooded with 
rumors from the respective Indian headquarters, 
and every demonstration of theirs, no matter 
what its intent, is heralded as the beginning of 
atrocities. The whole country is kept in alarm 
by the wildest stories of expected disaster. 
Only by the slowest degrees does General 
^ Miles become acquainted with the real situation. 
He employs his Indian police as scouts and mes* 
sengers, makes them bearers of information 
between the camps, uses them to overcome pre- 
judices and to ascertain intentions, and if force 
become necessary they appear rather as police- 
men for arrest, than as soldiers for slaughter. 
And as the General learned of the true inward- 
ness of the situation, he found that notwithstand- 
ing the apparent wisdom of his movements and 
the humanity of his aims, they were, in part, 
contributing to the discontent of the Indians, 
for as a casual visitor at Pine Tree might well 
have asked," why are these two thousand soldiers 
here, when only four hundred lodges of Sioux 
andCheyennes are in sight?** So the Indians 
asked '*why are these soldiers here? We sre 
not for war." The fleeing of the Sioux to the 
edge of the bad lands was not that they might 
prepare for war, but that they might worship their 
Good Spirit, Wakantanka done and prepare for 



the coming of their Messiah, unmolested by the 
whites. Even friendly Indians were known to J 
express the sentiment that, under the circum- 
stances, the presence of so many white troops 
was an insult, and an encouragement of the 
suspicion that the true meaning was to rob the . 
Indians of the miserable remnants of land that 
had been left them. Little Wound, when com- j 
pelled by hunger to go to the house of a herder 
for food, thus expressed himself, " My friend I 
have asked the Great Father for food for I am 
hungry, and he has given me none. I am too 
old to join my brothers^ in the North, so I must 
remain with the squaws at the agency and live on 
what you see fit to give me." 

When nursing a grievance the Indian is sullen 
and reticent. When suspicious, he is the most 
difficult being on earth to interview. Hence he 
contributed but little directly to an understand- 
ing of tribal intentions, though much indirectly 
as his laments crept more fully into his songs^ 
and his grievances tinged his harrangues. He 
would almost refuse to chargethat the beef ration 
due the reservation had been diminished a million 
pounds a year, even though the population on the 
reserve had increased, yet this startling fact 
would creep out in his songs and murmur?*, and 
would be talked over around the council fires^ 

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Nor would lie openly charge tliat the beef cattle 
issued to them in the winter were smaller or 
thinner than those in summer, but the shameful 
fact was no less a source of profound discontent. 
Again, only by persistent inquiring based on ac- 
tual visits to the- lodges, by Indians of friendly 
disposition, could it be fully ascertained how deep 
the indignation was ' in the bosoms of all the 
tribes against the whites, for the unjust assump- 
tion that their fervor as exhibited in the Ghost 
dance, and their faith as manifested in the Mes- 
siah expectation, were not real, but a possible 
doak for dissatisfaction and a prelude to war. 

It is, of course, easy to deny everything from 
the Indian's standpoint ; just as easy as for so- 
ciety to turn up its nose at the overwrought pic- 
tures of Dickens. Yet no one can read Dickens 
without a good deal more than a half consent 
Yellow Hair's story may be discounted by as 
much as you please of white sentiment, but you 
cannot obliterate its effect entirely, nor deny it a 
place among the touching episodes of aborigi- 
nal life. He said, ^Xittle Wound's daughter had 
been sick in the lodge for several days. She 
had no food , nor had any of her friends. She 
beip^ed for meat, or broth, or bread. Little 
Wound could not withstand the heart-rending 
appeals of his dying daughter. He started for 



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tbe agency to beg food from the agent ; when a 
few rods away his squaw came running out of 
the lodge crying, " toiyanka 1 toiyanka I come 
back I come back 1" He returned with fear and 
trembling — ^his poor child was dead. As she 
died she said, "Oh, give me food, just a little 
food 1" Falling back on the couch she died, then 
Little Wound drew himself up to his full 
stature and said "I would fight if my young men 
were bold and avenge the death of my child I" 

The first reliable information regarding the 
location of the camps of the hostiles was brought 
into headquarters about the middle of December, 
1890. The heroic messenger was a Louis Shan* 
graux, of French and Indian descent, who had 
gone forth into the unknown at the head of 
thirty-two Indian companions, for the purpose of 
finding out something definite about the location 
and intentions of the ghost dancing tribes. 

Louis' party had been selected for its mission 
because the regular government scouts had failed' 
to reach the camp site of two of the most important 
chiefs. Short Bull and Kicking Bear, and because 
their reports were considered generally unreliable. 
He had been left to his choice of men, and had 
chosen thirty-two good and reliable friendly In- 
dians, whom he could depend on in case of 
trouble. No wb*te men went with them, for it 

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was beKevcd the hostiles would kill any one not 
an Indian who should venture near the camp. 
From subsequent events this was found to be 

The country through which they rode present- 
ed a similiar appearance to a volcanic region. 
Great fissures yawned on all sides, peaks of gray- 
colored earth, or a dirty whitish, limestone bluff 
towered here and a precipice extended there. 
The trees become stunted as one advanced, and 
the grass disappeared. Finally all vegetation 
vanished and there remained naught but a series 
of peaks, of deep valleys, of horrible pits sugges- 
tive of the road to the infernal regions I Truly 
a more fitting place for an Indian massacre could 
not have been found in the United States. 
Occasional broader valleys, afforded a stunted 
growth of grass for ponies, but these fertile spots 
were great distances apart and of limited extent. 
In prehistoric times eruptions of the submerged 
volcanoes, or shrinkages in the earth's crust 
caused the irregularities, which everjrwhere ex- 
isted. Louis says "that the country affords 
splendid places for ambuscades — ^little amphi- 
theatres, as it were, with but one entrance, the 
sides of which are so irregular as to form good 
Idding-places for lurking savages. The hostiles' 








fort cannot be approached except through about 
five miles of such land. 

While in the hostile camp, Louis became an 
eye witness of the ghost dance. 

The dancing continued for nearly thirty hours ; 
then there was an intermission of several hours, 
during which a council was held in order to give 
audience to the peace commission. Short Hull and 
Two Strike, aided by Crow Dog, took the side of 
the hostiles, while No Neck and Louis Shangraux 
spoke in behalf of the friendlies. Louis said 
that, " the agent would forgive you if you would 
return now, and would give you more rations but 
not permit you to dance.'' To this Short Bull 
(Tatankaptecelan) replied: — 

^^ I have risen to-day to tell you something of 
importance. You have heard the words of the 
brothers from the agency camps, and if you have 
done as myself you have weighed them carefully. 
If the Great Father would permit us to continue 
the dance, would give more rations, and quit taking 
away portions of the reservation, I would be in 
favor of returning. But even if you (turning to 
Louis) say that he will, how can we discern 
whether you are telling the truth ? We have been 
lied to so many times that we will not believe any 
words that your agent sends to us. If we return 
he will take away our guns and ponies, put some 



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of US in jail for stealing cattle and plundering 
liouses. We prefer to stay here and die, if neces- 
saiy, to loss of liberty. We are free now and 
liave plenty of beef, can dance all the time in 
obedience to the command of Great Wakantanka. 
We tell you to return to your agent and say to 
him that the Dakotas in the Bad Lands are not 
going to come in." 

The gathering broke up, and nearly every one 
continued in the ghost dance. For two days the 
hostiles would not have further words with the 
friendly scouts. — . 

About noon, Saturday, Two Strike — who had J 
been one of the leaders in the dance— *arose and • 
announced his intention to return to the agency 
with the scouts, accompanied by about one hun- 
dred and forty-five lodges. Crow Dog (Kangi 
Sunka, the Indian who kilUed Spotted Tail about 
ten years ago) also announced his intention of re- 
turning. At this declaration from two such prom* 
inent men. Short Bull sprang to his feet and cried 
out angrily : 

** At such a time as this we should all stick to- 
gether like brothers. Do not leave ; remain with 
us. These men from the agency are not telling 
OS the truth ; they will, conduct you back to the 
;;gency and they will place you in jail there. 


iliouis is at the bottom of this affair. / Anaw lie 
is a traitor ; killhim^ kill him I 

With clubbed guns many of the desperate 
youths rushed upon the friendlies and scouts, 
others cocked their Winchesters, and for a few 
moments it looked as if poor liouis and No Neck, 
Two Strike and Crow Dog, would lose their lives. 
Crow Dog sat upon the ground and drew his 
blanket over his head. 

The wiser heads prevailed, however, and after 
a great hub-bub« in which several young men 
were knocked down, order was restored. It was 
during this trouble that Crow Dog made his 
famous short speech : 

^^ I am going back to White Clay (the location 
of the agency) ; you can kill me if you want to, 
now, and prevent my starting. The agent^s Wbrds 
are true,' and it is better to return than to stay 
here. I am not afraid to die.^' 

Imagine the surprise of the friendlies when, 
upon looking back from the top of a ridge two 
miles distant, they saw the one hundred and 
seventeen lodges of hostiles coming after them. 
They halted to wait for Short Bull to catch up, . 
and then the entire outfit moved toward the 
agency, all happy in the prospect of peace and 

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But the hopes of the friendlies were short-lived, 
for Short Bull became scared after having pro- 
ceeded four miles farther, aud, together with his 
band, left the rear of the column and returned to 
the Bad Lands. 

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; '■'■■'■'I 





Chapter XVIIL 

THE events of moment, in connection with the , 
use of the military for the suppression of 
this unique Indian uprising of 1890, occur* 
red in the following historic order : 
By November 14th, 1890, the disquietude 
among the Sioux Indians, resulting from Sitting 
Bull's prophecy that a new Messiah was soon to 
appear to restore to the Indians the land taken 
from them by the palefaces and to bring back the 
bufifalo, had assumed such proportions that the 
Interior Department at that date transferred the 
control of the Indians of North Dakota, under 
orders of the President, to the War Department, 
and General Miles was placed in control. Troops 
were sent forward rapidly, and it was expected 
that within a short time there would be 3,000 
regulars massed in North Dakota. Sitting Bull 
would be able to bring 3,000 warriors into action 
in case of trouble, and it was the intention of the 
War Department to overawe the Indians before!^ 
thev cotdd have a chance of doing anythingi |^ ^^ 

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bringing against them an eqnal force of United 
States soldiers. 

Several years before, there were similiar indica- 
tions of trouble with the Sioux, and a like course 
was followed at that time, with such success that 
the Indians abandoned their proposed attack on 
the whites, and it was thought that the same re- 
sult would follow at this time. An actual out- 
break was not anticipated by either the officials 
of the Interior or the War Department, but the 
situation was sufficiently critical to warrant 
prompt and extraordinary measures of precaution. 
General Miles had had great success in dealing 
with the Indians and it was believed that he 
would soon convince them ot the error of Sitting 
Buirs prediction. 

On Nov. 17th 1890, General Miles received 
official advices from Fort Custer, Montana, in the 
shape ofa report from the Post Adjutant, Lieut. F. 
C. Robertson, upon the religious craze as it affect- 
ed the Cheyennes. Lieut. Robertson says, "On 
my arrival at the agency, I put myself in imme* 
diate communication with Porcupine, the Apostle 
of the new religion among the Cheyennes and 
with Big Beaver, who accompanied him on his 
visit to the new Christ, at Walker Lake, Nevada, 
last year. When questioned as to the identity of 
the 15 or 16 tribes who were at the Walker Lake 



meeting last year, he said they included Chey* 
ennes, Sioux, Arraphoes, Gros Ventres, Utes, Nav- 
ajoes. Sheep Eater Bannocks and some other 
tribes whose names he did not know. He says 
all of the Utah Indians had been there and had 
left before his arrival. 

He is sure there were no tribes from Indian 
Territory represented, and thinks the Sioux were 
the most eastern Indians present. He says that 
he first heard of this new Christ at Arrapahoe 
(Shoshone Agency), Wyoming, where he and 
12 other Cheyennes went on a visit last fall. An 
Arrapahoe Indian named Sage, who had been to 
the Southwestern country in 1889, told them that 
there was a new Christ arisen for the Indians ; 
told where he could be found and explained his 
doctrine to them. Porcupine goes on to say that 
he and the other Cheyennes were much interes- 
ted, and determined to see this Messiah, but, as 
all could not go so far, nine of the Cheyennes 
were sent back. 

Porcupine'and the Cheyennes went on. When 
they got to Tongue River they crossed to their 
caravans, Indians joining them in groups at 
different points ^n route^ so that, when the final 
meeting took place at Walker Lake to hear the 
Christ speak, there were several hundred Indians 
present, including women and children. He cd-j 

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pecially insists that the teachings of th^ new 
Christ were in the interest of peace and good 
order and industry on the part of the Indians." 

Appended to this report is the testimony of the 
Cheyenne Porcupine, in which he describes his 
journey among the various Indian tribes, seem* 
ingly for pleasure and informatioui and his 
arrival at length among a fish-eating tribe, sup- 
posed to be dwellers on Pyramid Lake, Nevada. 
That part of his testimony which bears directly 
upon the uprising is as follows : 

^^ What I am going to say is the truth. The 
two men sitting near me were with me, and will 
bear witness that I speak the truth. 

I and my people have been living in ignorance 
until I went and found out the truth. All the 
whites and Indians are brothers, I was told there. 
I never knew this before. 

The fish-eaters, near Pyramid Lake, told me 
that Christ had appeared on earth again. They 
said Christ knew he was coming; that ii of his 
children were also coming from a far land. It 
appeared that Christ had sent for me to go there, 
and that was why, unconsciously, I took my 
journey It had been foreordained. They told 
me when I got there that my Great Father was 
there also, but I did not know who he was. The 
people assembled, called a council, and the chiefs 

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sons went to see the Great Father, who sent word 
to us to remain 14 days in that campi and that 
then he would come and see us. At the end of 
two days, on the third momingi hundreds of peo« 
pie gathered at this place. They cleared a place 
near the agency in the form of a circus ring, 
and we all gathered there. Just before sundown 
I saw a great many people (mostly Indians) 
coming dressed in white men's clothing ; the 
Christ was with them. They all formed in this 
ring, and around it they put up sheets all around 
the circle, as they had no tents. Just after 
dark some of the Indians told me that Christ 
(Father) was arrived. I looked around to find 
him, and finally saw him sitting on one side of the 
ring. He was dressed in a white coat with stripes. 
The rest of his dress was a white man's, except 
that he had on a pair of moccasins. Then he com. 
menced our dance, everybody joining in, the 
Christ singing while we danced. We danced till 
late in the night, when he told us we had danced 
enough. The next morning he told us he was 
going away that day, but would be back the next . 
morning and talk to us. I heard that Chn:;t 
had been crucified and I looked to see, and I saw 
a scar on his wrist and one on his face, and he 
seemed to be the man. I could not see his feet 
He would talk to us all day That evening W( 

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all assembled to see him depart When we 
were assembled he began to sing, and he com- 
menced to tremble all over violently for a while 
and then sat down. We danced all that night, 
the Christ lying down beside ns, apparently dead. 

The following morning the Christ was back 
with ns and wanted to talk to ns. He said: 
*Iam the man who made everything yon see 
aronnd yon. I am not lying to yon my children. 
I made this earth and everything on it I have 
been to Heaven and seen yonr dead friends and 
have seen my own father and mother.* He spoke 
to ns about fighting, and said that it was bad ; that 
we mnst keep from it ; the earth was to be all good 
hereafter; that we must be friends with one 
another. He said if any man disobeyed what he 
ordered, his tribe would be wiped from the face of 
the earth. 

Ever since the Christ I speak of talked to me 
I have thought what he said was good. I have 
seen nothing bad in it. When I got back I knew 
my people were bad and had heard nothing of alJ 
I this, so I got them together and told them of it 
and warned them to listen to it fortheir own good. 
1 told them just what I have told you here to-day ** — ^ 

By November, 1890, reports began to come f 
from various parts of Dakota, which indicated a 
scareamong the whitii Mttlers in various places! 



Those from Mandan were of the most excitable 
nature. Squads of Indians were making raids, 
burning buildings and looting cattle, the settlers 
were fleeing in terror and seeking safety at the 
nearest towns and ports. General Ruger took 
but little stock in these reports, he regarded them 
as gross exaggerations, and did not hesitate to 
say so publicly. " Some of these reports " said he, 
"are particularly exaggerated, especially those 
relating to an attack on Mandan. 

The Indians located nearest to Mandan are 
about 35 miles away, on the Cannon Ball Riven 
They are thrifty, industrious, peaceable people, 
who have taken up claims, built huts and houses, 
own cattle, ponies and wagons, and are in good 

They are Christianized Indians, having no 
faith in aboriginal superstitions and disliking 
this new Messiah craze, for they say it interferes 
with the progress of the people. And every year 
these Indians sell hundreds of thousands of 
pounds of beef to the Standing Rock Agency, 
receiving not only a good price therefor, but also 
nome of the beef in return as rations. 

Now, you can't convince me that the people 
who have land, homes, stock, cattle, wagons, 
crops and revenue are at all anxious to go to 
war, and yet these are the ones to watch whom 

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the people at Mandan have sent scouts. During 
my inquiries I found that there was nothing hav* 
iug the appearance of war or indicative of war in 
this Messianic belief. The Indians say that the 
whites are to be destroyed, but by Christ alone 
and without aid from the red man. A mud wave 
is to engulf the pale faces^ but the Indians are to'^ 
be lifted above it until it passes over. This 
ghost dance, too, is a harmless aSair, being equiv- 
alent to Christian communion — that is, a pre- 
paratory ceremony through which the partici* 
pants aim to perfect themselves before the coming 
of the Master.** 

Notwithstanding the contradictory character 
of the rumors that were Aying thick and fast, 
General Miles was busy shifting the troops at 
his disposal, so as to bring them into the most 
available positions. The troops at Port Russell, 
Wyoming, were placed under orders to move at 
a moment's notice. The troops at Ports Omaha, 
Robinson and Niobrarra, were ordered to hold the 
Indians in check at Pine Ridge and Rosebud 
agencies, on the Dakota frontier. These orders 
placed a,ooo troops, well in hand, in less than a 

On November 19, 1890, General Miles reported 
thesituation, thus: 'In my opinion the forces 
now at hand, and those on the Rosebud and 


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Pine Ridge agencies will be sufficient to protect 
the lives and public prbperty at these agencies, 
and control the Indians there, if they do not com* 
mit any serious overt acts before the arrival of 
the troops, or immediately upon the arrival of 
this force. I am of the opinion that the presence 
of the troops will have a most quieting effect. I 
have received information that night before last 
^American Horse,* who is one of the Sioux tribe, 
had a narrow escape from assassination from the 
turbulent Indians at the Pine Ridge agency/ 
This Indian is a prominent Sioux chief, and a 
friend to the United States Government He has 
been so regarded for years, and always inclined 
to be peaceable and loyal. 

To nothing but the turbulent, hostile and 
disaffected spirit of the Indians can I attribute 
this attempt to murder American Horse. They 
are seemingly angry because American Horse 
opposes the turbulent spirit manifested by the 
Indians and strenuously opposes such actions.'* 

A youth of the Arickaree tribe, who had been 
educated in one of the Eastern schools, but who 
was fast relapsing into the ways of his fathers, 
said that, ^^ the Sioux are in good shape for a fight. 
They have plenty of guns and ammunition, and 
also have all the jerked beef they want The Ar- 
ickarees are friendly with the wl^tes, and we don*l 

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want to fight ourselves, but we would like to see the 
Sioux go on the war path, because it would mean 
larger rations for all the Indians in the Dakotas. 
I don*t know whether the Sioux set the recent 
fires that destroyed so much property, but I be- 
lieve they did. The Sioux say they have the 
white man*s meat to eat while fighting white 
men. The Sioux expect the Messiah every day. 
There are 300 young bucks missing from the 
reservation. Scouts and Indian police don't know 
where they are. We are friends of the whites 
and not of the Sioux, but the Sioux gave us forty 
ponies, so we will be their friends whatever hap- 

On November 20, reports from all sources were 
wilder than ever. The town of Valentine, Ne- 
braska, was said to be full of fugitives from the 
country north of the railroad and about the Pine 
Ridge Agency. The country was thoroughly 
aroused and all who could get away were fleeing 
to places of safety. News that the troops had 
been put on the march was exciting the Indians, 
and hundreds of braves were withdrawing from 
the agencies and disappearing in the Bad Lands, 
which procedure was regarded as ominous. 

Advices from Pine Ridge under date of No- 
vember ai, were to this eflfect : 



V The dancing Indians have the agency and the 

surrounding country in a state of terror. The 
Ghost dances, under the lead of Little Wound, 
Six Feathers and other chiefs, are still going oil 
at Wounded Knee creek. White Clay and Medi- 
cine, and the Indians have their guns strapped to 
their backs as they dance. Yesterday a large 
band of Indians left Rosebud Agency and headed 
this way. It is within the bounds of possibility 
that the dancing Indians may consolidate their 
forces at Wounded Knee, and in that case a fight 
may be expected at any moment. Medicine 
Root, the furthest point from the agency where 
the dancing is going on, is 30 miles away. 
Wounded Knee is 15 and Porcupine 25. 

The wives and children of all the traders and 
other whites about the agency have left for the 
safer points along the railroad, and the men here 
are prepared for the worst. 

The last news from Wounded Knee, was to the 
effect that "the Ghost dances were being held 
nightly and that all thelndians collected there were 
excited, threatening and boisterous. The rumor 
that the troops were coming was repeated there 
and only elicited threats in response. The Indians 
declared their Messiah was advising them and en;* 
couraging them every day and that the dances 

could not be stopped. 

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" If the soldiers come here," they said, " we 
will treat them the way we did the agent and his 

General Miles reported oflScially as follows : Re- 
liable information has been received that the Yank* 
tons and Grosventres, on the Upper Missouri, 
also those near old Fort Belknap, have unani* 
monsly adopted the Messiah craze; the latter 
quite ugly ; that Sitting Bull has sent emissaries 
to these tribes and to the 48 lodges of Sioux north 
of the British line, exciting them to get arms and 
ammunition and join the other warriors near 
Black Hills in the spring. Every effort is being 
made to allay and restrain the turbulent, but the 
\aolent overt act of any small party of the desper- 
ate ones may cause a general uprising. The lat- 
est reports from the Northern Cheyennes is that 
they have abandoned the delusion. There should 
be no delay, however, in putting other troops than 
those in these two departments in proper equip- 
ment for the field. Short Bull had risen to the 
position of prophet or Messiah among the Indians 
near the Rosebud agency. He grew eloquent at 
Camp Leaf and thus unburdened himself: 

•* My friends and relatives : I will soon start the 
thing in running order, I have told you that this 
would come to pass in two seasons, but since the 
whites are interfering so much I wi^ advance 


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the time from what my Father above told me. 
The time will be shorter, therefore you must not 
be afraid of anything. Some of my relatives have 
no ears so I will have them blown away. Now 
there will be a true tree sprout up, and then all 
the members of your religion and the tribe must 
gather together. That will be the place where 
we will see our relatives. But before this time 
we will have the balance of the moon, at the end 
of which time the earth will shiver very hard. 
Whenever this thing occurs I \vill start the wind 
to blow. We are the ones who will then see our 
fathers, mothers and everybody. We are the 
tribe of Indians and the ones who are living the 
sacred life. God, our Father, Himself has told 
and commanded and shown me to do these things. 
Our Father in heaven has placed a mark at each 
point of the four winds. First, a clay pipe, which 
lies at the setting of the sun and represents the 
Sioux tribe ; second, there is a holy arrow lying 
at the north, which represents the Cheyenne 
tribe ; third, at the rising of the sun there lies 
hail, representing the Arrapahoe tribe; and 
fourth, there lies a pipe and nice feather at the 
south, which represents the Crow tribe. My 
Father has shown me these things, therefore we 
must continue the dance. There may be soldiers 
to surround you, but pay no attention to them«T 

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Continue the dance. If the soldiers surround 
you four deep, those upon whom I put holy spirits 
will sing a song which I have taught you, and 
some of them will drop dead. Then the rest will 
start to run, but their horses will sink into the 
earth. The riders will jump from their horses, 
but they will sink into the earth and you can do 
what you desire for them. 

Now, you must know this — that all the soldiers 
and the race will be dead. There will be only 
500 of them left living on the earth. My friends 
and relatives, this is straight and true. Now, 
we must gather at Pass Creek when the tree if 
sprouting. Then we will go among our dead rela- 
tives. You must not take any earthly things 
with you. Their women and men must disrobe 

My Father above has told us to do this and we 
must do as he s^ys. You must not be afraid of 
anything. The guns are the only things that we 
are afraid of, but they belong to our Father in 
Heaven. He will see that they do not harm. 
Whatever white men may tell you do not listen 
to them ; my relations, this is .all. I will now 
raise my hand up to my Father and close what 
He has said to you through me.'' 

The dispatches of November 24, were to the fol- 
lowing effect : Apparently General Miles believes 




that if the Indians do go on the war path the cam- 
paign against them will be a protracted one, for 
he is moving field artillery, large quantities of 
ammunition and supplies, as well as cavalry and 
infantry. Notwithstanding sensational telegrams 
the army will not take the offensive, but is under 
orders not to attack the braves until they do some- 
thing more warlike than dancing. Instructions 
are to prevent trouble, if possible, by persuading 
the Indians o return to the agency. 

The Messiah craze continued to spread, and by 
this time it had reached the Cheyennes and Ar- 
raphoes as far south as the Indian Territory. A 
friendly, sent to investigate the situation among 
the Southern tribes reported that : 

" A Sioux Indian, acting as a missionary, has 
o^me from the North to teach the new religion to 
the Southern tribes. He preaches to them that 
any one who does not believe in the new religion 
will be destroyed, and in this manner he so works 
upon the imagination of these people that they 
fall prostrate to the ground, and while lying there 
the missionary pretends to cast some spell on 
them, and when they rise they declare they have 
seen the new Christ and at once join in the ghost 
dance, which they keep up until exhausted. This 
new religion has also spread to the Kiowas, 
Comanches and Apaches, whose/ reservatipnf^ 

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adjoins the Cheyennes and Arrapalioes on the 
sonthy and different tribes all join in holding the 
ghost dance, and are rapidly becoming more rest* 
less and desperate as the time for the coming of 
the new Messiah, who is to lead them to victory, 
draws near/* 

The dispatches of November 26, report that 
the Sionx lodges in the neighborhood of Pine 
Ridge indicated the presence of about 6,000 
Indians, but the bucks were mostly away. The 
weather was the mildest known for y ears and was 
£Eivorable for military operations. The Govern- 
ment had taken into its employ about 1,200 Indian 
scouts. These were friendlies and were proving 
to be a very effective force for police purposes. 
The celebrated Buffalo Bill was given a commis- 
sion as Brigadier-General and ordered on a scout 
into the Northwest. Short BulPs camp on 
White River, at the mouth of Pass Creek, had 
assumed immense proportions, and its occupants 
were supposed to number 1,500 warriors, all well 
armed. They were a surly set, and Gen. Miles 
saw more difficulty in an attempt to bring him in, 
than in any other which then confronted him. 
Little Wound came freely into the agency, and 
this was regarded as a sure sign that the strength 
of the disaffM^t^ Indians would gradually 




During the month of November the excitement 
among the white settlers in the vicinity of the 
upnsing continued, and tales of burning, plunder 
and murder, came into the respective headquar- 
ters with great frequency. Many of them proved 
to besheerinventions, while others were provoked 
by indiscreet conduct on the part of those who 
had been taught to HU an Indian and parley 
with him afterwards. Nevertheless, there were 
many real outrages, perpetrated by foolhardy 
bucks, who had detached themselves from the 
main force for a purpose of gratifying a propen- 
sity for deviltry. 

General Miles was fast operating his Indian 
police force. They were sent out to various 
Indian camps where the ghost dance was pro- 
gressmg, with orders to arrest the ringleaders 
and deposit them in jail at the agencies. He 
also continued to dispose of his forces so as to 
draw his chain closer around the centres of 

The dispatches of November, 30, showed' a 
concentration of the hostiles in the vicinity of 
Wounded Knee. They were supposed to number 
1,300 ghost dancing warriors, frenzied with ex- 
citement and ready for any deed. ThemiUtary 
were held under orders to move at a moment's 
notice, and it was well understood th^it Wftuj 

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Knee was to be their destination, where one of 
the bloodiest fights in Indian history was antici- 
pated. The alarm was increased by the report 
of Plenty Bear— an old friendly— who had come 
in from Wonnded Knee, His estimate of the 
hostiles was a,ooo warriors, all in a sute of excite- 
ment at the efforts of the troops to stop their 
ghost dances. He said they had token an oath 
of resistance if it cost the last drop of their heart's 
blood. He witnessed one of their dances and saw . 
Little Wound and his band engaged in it, though 
that chief had promised to stop further indulgence 
in such demonstrations. 

By December xst, the Government began to 
change its Indian agents, some of those in 
position having proved incompetent. Both Gen- 
eral MUes and Buffalo Bill had arrived at the con- 
dusion that as Sitting Bull was a leading and 
perverse spirit, his arrest would tend to bring the 
agiUtion to an end. The situation was not nearly 
so encouraging at this date, and even General 
Miles despaired of securing terms of the hostiles 
without a battle. More troops were called for, and 
the effort to concentrate them so as to be provided 
fortheworstwasgreaterthanever. Thelanguage 
of General Miles at this date is as follows : 

« The dissatisfaction is more widespread than 
it has been at any time for years. The conspiracy 





extends to more different tribes that Have Hereto- 
fore been Hostile but tHat are now in full sympathy 
witH eacH other, and are scattered over a larger 
area of country than in the whole History of 
Indian warfare. 

It is a more comprehensive plot than anything 
fever inspired by the Prophet Tecumseh, or even 

The causes of this difficulty are easy of loca- 
tion. Insufficient food supplies, religious delu- 
sions and the innate disposition of the savage to 
go to war must be held responsible. 

All that is possible is being done to encourage 
the loyal and reduce the number and influence of 
the Hostile, and in this way an outbreak may be 
averted. I sincerely hope there will be no Hostil- 
ities, for a general uprising would be a most seri- 
ous affidr. 

Altogether there are in the Northwest about 
30,000 who are affected by the Messiah craze ; 
that means fully 6,000 fighting men. Of this 
number, at least one-third would not go on the 
warpath, so that leaves us with about 4,000 
adversaries. There are 6,000 other Indians in 
the Indian Territory who will need to be watched 
if active operations take place. Four thousand 
Indians can make an immense amount of trouble. 
But a tithe of that number were concerned iO/tHp/> 

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Minnesota massacrci yet they killed 500 settlers 
in a veiy brief space of time* 

Altogether, we have about a,0(» mounted men. 
We have plenty of infantry, but you cannot catch 
mounted Indians with foot soldiers. The infan- 
try had one or two good fights in 1876 and 1877, 
but such engagements are rare in frontier war- 

The Indians are better armed now than they 
ever were and their supply of horses is all that 
could be desired. Every buck has a Winchester 
rifle, and he knows how to use it. In the matter 
of subsistence they are taking but little risk. 
They can live on cattle just as well as they used 
to on buffalo, and the numerous horse ranches 
will furnish them with fresh stock, when cold 
and starvation ruin their mounts. The Northern 
Indian is hardy and can suffer a great deal. 
These hostiles have been starved into fighting,"^ 
and they will prefer to die fighting rather than 
starve peaceably. - / 

I hope the problem may be solved without 
bloodshed, but such a happy ending to the trouble 
seems impossible. An outbreak would cost the 
lives of a great many brave men, and the destruc- 
tion o* hundreds of homes in the Northwest If 
peace is possible we will have it" 






By this time it had become apparent to Gen. 
Miles that scarcity of food was not an idle com- 
plaint on the part of the Indians. He says : 

"We have overwhelming evidence from offi- 
cers, inspectors and testimony of agents as well, 
. and also from the Indians themselves, that they 
have been suffering for the want of food, more or 
less, for two years past, and one of the principal 
causes of disaffection is this very matter. One of 
the principal objects of my recent visit to Wash- 
ington was to urge the necessity of immediate 
relief, and I am happy to say that success has 
crowned my efforts. 

The Secretary of the Interior has ordered an 
increase of rations and has asked Congress to 
appropriate the necessary money. Gen. Brooke 
telegraphs this morning from Pine Ridge, 
spying : ^ There has been an issue of rations, 
excepting beef. The orders to the agent at this 
Agency, from the Secretary of the Interior, in- 
crease the Indians* rations but slightly in 
meat.' ** 

Word from the Bad Lands, whither most of 
the hostiles had secluded themselves, ran as 
follows : 

The hostile Indians are making use of every 
moment's delay on the part of the military to 
move on them by strengthening ^i'^^^V^Wr-^ 

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almost impregnable camp in the dreaded Bad 
Lands. The 500 or 600 squaws with them are 
working day and night digging rifle pits about 
the camp. 

This is something very unusual, if not wholly 
unprecedented, on the part of Indians preparing 
for war. The reason for this move is, our scouts 
say, more to insure the protection of the im- 
mense quantities of stolen beef and provisions in 
the camp than to insure a greater slaughter of 
soldiers. The moment that these supplies are 
captured by the military that moment the Indians 
must surrender, unless their thirst for blood is so 
intense as to lead them to fight until they are 
downed, either by starvation or United States 
bullets. At best, whether the military can cap- 
ture the bulk of the hostilesVsupplies or not, the 
Indians have undoubtedly secreted small quanti* 
ties sufficient in the aggregate to run them for at 
least eight or ten weeks. .^ 

On December 4, President Harrison received 
the following memorial from Rosebud agency : 

Great Father : This day I will write you a let- 
ter with a good heart. When we gave up the 
Black Hills you told us in that treaty that a man 
would get three pounds of beef a day. The 
meaning was three pounds for one man. Besides, 



you said we could get food just like the soldiers. 
You did not, however, give it to us at this rate. 

Great Father, we are starving, and beg you> 
therefore, to give to us just so, as you have prom- 
ised. Thirty men of us ; yet us, get for 18 days 
(onjy one cow) to eat ; that is the reason I men* 
tion it And if you do not well understand you 
send me (Hollow Horn Bear) traveling money 
and I will come with five men« 

" Great Father, if you do not (want to) do so, 
then please let us have a soldier for our father 
(Agent) when our present father*s term* is out. 
Great Father, please do us this favor. J 

Signed by 102 Sioux Indians. 

The news from Pine Ridge for December 5, 
showed no change in the situation. It ran 
briefly : The hostile Rosebud Indians sleep upon 
their arms, prepared constantly for an attack. 
They have three lines of signal couriers between 
this agency and their camp, and any movement 
of the troops would be known in a few moments. 

They have taken all they wish of the Govern- 
ment's beef herd and burned the buildings and 
corrals. They are living high and are happy. 
They have moved to the tdg;e of the Bad Lands. 
Military preparations proceed rapidly. Unless 
the Indians come in within a very few days troops 

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will be equipped and in position, when an advance 
may be ordered. 

A. scare at Frisco amounted to a panic. Four 
thousand Indians were encamped on tbe Soutb 
Canadian. Settlers from the surrounding country 
came flocking into the village by scores, and re* 
ports of depredations were rife. At Cannon Ball 
station, Captain Ketchem had an interview with 
all the Chiefs of the Yanktonnais who could be 
summoned at short notice, such as Two Bears, 
Wolf, Necklace, Big Head, Black Tomahawk and 
Red Fish. 

They stated that they had no grievances, and 
with one accord said the later treaties had been 
complied with. They expressed grave fears lest 
the conduct of Bull and others would result in 
wat*, and that the Crook-Foster-Wamer treaty 
would be abrogated thereby. They were assured 
that friendly Indians would not suffer and were 

On December 7, General Miles thus pictured > 
the situation: — ^'^ Generals Ruger and Brooke 
have been doing all they could to put the small 
number of available troops in position to be ^ise. 
ful, and so far as possible staying the threatened 
cydone, yet the end of the Indi^i troubles is by 
no means immediately at hand. No other civi- 
lized coimtxy <m earth would tolerate many thou* 





sands of armed savages scattered through diflfei*. 
ent States and Territories. J 

The people of Texas, Western Kansas' Ne- 
braska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wy- 
oming, Utah, Eastern Washington, Idaho, An- 
zona and New Mexico are seriously interested in 
this subject While the fire may be suppressed 
in one place, it will be still smouldering and liable 
to break out at other places where the least ex- 
pected under the present system." 

After great difficulty. Lieutenant Gaston of the 
8th Cavalry succeeded in getting a conference 
with the Cheyennes at the Tongue River Mis- 
sion. He reported as present, the chiefs Spotted 
Wolf, Old Crow, White Elk, Bad Gun, Porcu- 
pine and a number of other Cheyennes, Sioux, 
and Fire Crow, an Ogallalah Sioux. The result 
of the conference was not satisfactory, but it was 
thought that an appeal to force could be avoided. 
General Brooke also succeeded in securing an 
audience with the hostiles who had got beyond 
reach into the Bad Lands. The chiefs came to 
the conference bearing a flag of truce and armed 
with Winchester and Springfield rifles. The en- 
trance of the novel procession produced a flutter 
of excitement, the greatest that has been known 
here at the agency since the trouble began. 

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IPirst came, the cliiefs, who were Turning Bear, 
Big Turkey, High Pine, Big Bad Horse and 
Bull Dog, who was one of the leaders in the Cus- 
ter massacre. Next came Two Strike, the head 
chief, seated in a buggy with Father Jute. Sur- 
rounding these was a body guard of four young 
warriors. All the Indians were decorated with war 
paint and feathers, while many wore ghost dance 
leggins and the ghost dance shirts dangling at 
their saddles. 

Bunches of eagle feathers were tied on the 
manes and tails of most of the ponies, while the 
backs of the docile little animals were streaked 
with paint The luridly, warlike cavalcade pro- 
ceeded at once to General Brooke's spacious 
headquarters in the agency residence. At a 
given signal all leaped to the ground, hitched 
their ponies to the trees, and guided by Father 
Jute, they entered the GeneraPs apartments, 
where the council was held, lasting two hours. 

At the beginning of the pow-wow General 
Brooke explained that the Great Father, through 
him, asked them to come in and have a talk 
regarding the situation. A great deal of misun- 
derstanding and trouble had arisen by the reports 
taken to and fro between the camps by irrespon- 
sible parties, and it was, therefore, considered 
vexy necessary that they have a talk face to face. 



Through him, he said, the Father wanted to 
tell them if they would come in near the agency 
where he (Gen, Brooke) could see them often 
and not be compelled to depend on heresay, that 
he would give them plenty to eat and employ 
many of their young men as scouts, etc. He 
said he had heard they were hostile Indians, but 
he did not believe it. The soldiers did not come 
there to fight, but to protect the settlers and keep 
peace. He hoped they (the Indians) were all in 
favor of peace as the Great Father did not want 
war. As to the feeling over the change in the 
boundary line between Pine Ridge and the Rose- 
bud Agency, he said that and many other things 
would be settled satisfactorily after they had 
shown a disposition to come in as asked by the 
Great Father. Wounded Klnee was suggested 
as a place that would prove satisfactory to the 
Great Father to have them live. The represent- 
atives of the hostiles listened with contracted 
brows, sidelong glances at one another and low 

When the General had concluded his remarks. 
Turning Bear came forward and spoke in reply. 

'It would be a bad thing for them to come nearer 
the agency because there was no water or grass 
for their horses there. He could not understand 

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howtheiryoung men could be employed as scouts 
if ttere was no enemy to be watched. They would 
be glad to be employed and get paid for it They 
might come in, but as the old men and old women 
have no horses, and as their people have nothing 
generally to pull their wagons, it would take them 
a long time to come« 

If they should come they would want the Great 
Father to send horses and wagons out to the Bad 
Land camp and bring in the great quantity of beef, 
etc, they had there, and take it anywhere to a 
new camp that might be agreed on. In conclu- 
sion the speaker hoped that they would be given 
something to eat before they started back.'* 

To this the General replied that they should be 
given food. As for horses and wagons being sent 
after the beef, the General said that and many other 
thingswould be considered after they had acceded 
to the Great Father's request to move into the 
agency. Any reference whatever to the wholesale 
devastation and depredation, thieving and burn- 
ing of buildings, etc, was studiously avoided on 
both sides. After the pow-wow was over, the 
band was conducted to the Quartermaster's De- 
partment and there given a big feast The squaws 
living at the agency came out in gala day feathers 
and gave a squaw dance. 


The dispatches of December loth ran in brief, 
as follows : 

Indications at General Miles's headquarters^ 
to^ay pointed to a dramatic close of the Messiah 
craze among the Indians of the Northwest An 
immediate tightening of the great militaiy cor- 
don now completely surrounding the ghost dan- 
cers seems to be the programme. 

The climax apparently will be a total disarming 
of the redskins enclosed like so many rats in a 
huge trap. General Brooke is on the south. 
Colonel Sumner is on the north. General Carris 
on the west and Colonel Merriam is on the east 
with their respective commands. 

Those of the nth ran thus ; 

Reports from General Ruger and General 
Brooke are quite favorable. The presence of the 
troops now in position has had a demoralizing 
influence upon the Indians, and those that a week 
ago were defiant and warlike are now giving evi- 
dence of submission. General Brooke reports 
that the Indians near White River have turned 
loose their stolen stock and were coming in. 
Colonel Sumner reports quite a large number 
of Indians in his vicinity who are willing to obey 
his orders. These belong to Big Foot's follow- 
ers and others, located about the southwestern 

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part of Cheyenne River. "^ / 

On the lath General Brooke reported from 
Pine Ridge : 

From reports received I am of the opinion that 
Two Strike and all the other chiefs are coming 
in from White River. Short Bull and Kicking 
Bear, with a small following, broke away and 
went back into the Bad Lands. Think it likely 
they will go north ; I have notified all troops north 
and west There was quite a fight, and some In- 
dians were hurt I shall try to get them in here, 
but they may get beyond reach. 

The Indians in the ''Bad Lands'' had fallen out 
among themselves over the question of returning 
to the agency, and a terrible battle ensued at 
Grass Basin between the followers of Short Bull 
and Two Strike, in which the latter triumphed. 
A battle also took place between the Indians and 
settlers on French Creek, in which the Indians 
were worsted. 

In pursuance of the plan to use the Indian 
police for the purpose of arresting Ghost Dancers 
and those who refused to come into the agencies* 
General Miles sent out a strong squad to the head- 
quarters of Sitting Bull, on the Grand River, 
with orders to prevent his escape into the Bad 
Lands as was his declared intention. This wily 



and powerful Chief, whose influence over the 
Sioux and their neighbors had never ceased to 
be a source of trouble, might have prolonged 
the agitation indefinitely, or precipitated bloody 
hostilities, had he been allowed to escape. It was 
therefore important to arrest him, and the attempt 
to do so led to his death. It was on December 
15, that the Indian police started out to arrest 
Sitting Bull, having understood that he proposed 
starting for the Bad Lands at once. 

The police were followed by a troop of cavalry 
under Captain Fouchet and infantry under Col- 
onel Drum. When the police reached Sitting 
Bull's camp on the Grand River, about forty 
miles from Standing Rock, they found arrange- 
ments being made for departure. The cavalry 
had not yet reached the camp when the police 
arrested Bull and storted back with him. His 
followers attempted his rescue and fighting com- 
menced. Four policemen were killed and three 
wounded. Eight Indians were killed, including 
Sitting Bull and his son, Crow Foot and several 
others wounded. 

The police were surrounded for some time, but . 
maintained their ground until relieved by United 
States troops, who took possession of Sitting 
BulPs camp, with all women, children and pro- 
perty. Sitting Bull's followers, W^^^}i}y^^l^ 

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hundred men, deserted tlicir families and fled 
west up the Grand Riven _ 

General Schofield when asked for his opinion ' 
of the eflfect on the other Indians of the killing 
of Sitting Bull, said, ** He indulged the hope 
expressed by others that this would hasten the 
settlement of the Indian trouble. He thought it 
would make more definite the lines of division 
between the friendly Indians and those determined 
to be hostile. He had from the start of the 
trouble in the Northwest, hoped the matter would 
be settled, without conflict, and regretted that 
blood had been shed, but he hoped for favorable \^ 


When Secretary Proctor was asked concern- 
ing the eflfect of the killing he said he did not 
think it would have any bad effect on friendly 
Indians. They had not been kindly disposed to- 
wards Sitting Bull, and had no love for him. It 
was only with the disa£Fected Indians that he had 
any influence. 

When Sitting Bull surrendered to the United 
States authorities in the spring of '8i, he was at 
first placed in the prison at Fort Randall, S. D., 
but later transferred totheStanding Rock Agency. 

The old man felt the loss of his power keenly 
and sought some means to regain at least a part 
of his lost prestige. 



Pretending that he desired to secure a fam: 
and settle down like a white man, he was given 
a location on the beautiful Grand Riyer, at a point 
43 miles southwest of the Standing Rock Agency, 
which was' located at a point half way between 
the Grand and Cannon Ball Rivers on the Mis- 
souri. At the home of Sitting Bull gathered a 
few who still acknowledged that he was a chief, 
and he longed for the time when he could again 
count over the large number of his followers. 

During the time he was away from the agency. 
Gall, John Grass and other noted chiefs secured 
their fonner positions as leaders, and on Bull's 
return they were in a position to interfere with 
his ambition, and they thwarted his every move 
toward hostility to the Government, their influ- 
ence with the Indians being so much greater than 
his, that they prevented much trouble that had 
been planned by the old rascal. 

The first report of the coming of the Indian 
Messiah was hailed by Sitting Bull as the longed 
for opportunity, and he tried his best to take ad- 
vantage of it 

Naturally superstitious, the Indians were 
ready for such an outpouring of their pent up 
feelings in the form of a religious dance. Bull 
had always gained his greatest success from his 
^my u . Medicine Ma^ijj^Iomat. ud he^e 


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felt that the time for him to get his fevenge on 
the other chiefs and the Government had arrived. 

He at the start joined in with the ghost dan- 
cers, not shouting and dancing so much as incit- 
ing the others to the greater activity in that 

When the Indians would go dancing around 
in a circle until they fell to the ground from diz- 
ziness and exhaustion, the wily old chief would 
take his place alongside of the fallen one, and^ 
after a few words with him, would announce 
what visions the Messiah and the coming again 
of the hunting grounds of the past had been wit- 
nessed, and the dance would be resumed with re- 
newed vigor. Soon another would fall in a faint 
and the same programme would be gone through 

By carefully nursing this budding religious 
belief, Bull was fast regaining his old prestige, 
and it was but natural that the Government 
would, at the first announcement of his connec- 
tion with the troubles, seek to effect his capture. 

This had been planned at an early day by Gener- 
al Miles, but President Harrison thought the time 
had not yet come for such action and the arrest 
was postponed. 

Buffalo Bill went out to Standing S.ock Agency, 
with orders to bring Bull in, dead or alive, and 



he would have made a splendid attempt to do so » 
had not the order been revoked. 

Sitting Bull's followers after the death of their 
chief, fled up the Grand River, leaving behind 
them all their tools and their families, which 
were taken possession of by the soldiers. 

After going a short distance up the river the 
fleeing redskins separated, and went off in all 
directions through the country towards the Bad 

Colonel Corbin thus sketches Sitting Bull : 

" The first time I saw Sitting Bull, was thir- 
teen years ago. I was on a commission with 
General Terry and we met him near Fort Walsh. 
He was then about 40 years of age. He has 
never been a chief cor even a warrior of a high 
order. In the Custer massacre and in the fight 
with Reno he skipped out with his people and 
got away from danger. He has been a leader in 
organizing the Ghost Dance and has taken 
advantage of the religious craze to send emissa- 
ries to different bands to induce them to make 
trouble. The purpose was to assemble the 
warriors in the spring and with the aid of the 
Messiah bring back to life all of the dead Indians 
and restore the country to all its pristine glory. 
Sitting Bull was a shrewd politician and took 
advantage of the prevalent sentimental feelinsfp 


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« He took Ills cliildren out of school and gathered 
about him the small band he had in this secluded 
place, where he believed he would not bedisturbed. 
It was necessary to take steps to arrest him/' 

General Miles thtis viewed the situation : 

*^ My information was reliable and positive of 
his (Sitting Bull's) emissaries and runners going 
to different tribes and exciting them to hostility, 
and of the reports in returning to his camp. The 
order for his arrest was not given any too soon, as 
he was about leaving the reservation with lOO 
fighting men. 

The effect of his death has been dishearten- 
ing to many others. I have directed the troops 
to ride down and capture or destroy the few that 
have escaped after his death from Standing Rock. 
General Brooke has more than looo lodges, or 
50cx> Indians, under his control at Pine Ridge, 
but there are still 50 lodges or over 200 fighting 
men in the Bad Lands that are very defiant and 

On December 17, General Brooke reported that 
Two Strike and 184 lodges with 800 Indians had 
come in, and were encamped in front of the 
agency at Pine Ridge; A great number still re- 
mained in the Bad Lands, defiant and threaten* 
ingwar. Every possible means were being used to 



restrain the friendly Sioux then on the reserva- 
tion. Their number was estimated at 16,000. 

On the 18th, skirmishes were reported at a 
ranche near Smithville. A constant watch was 
kept over the movements in the Bad Lands. Ac- 
cotints of depredations and murders were con- 
stantly coming to the respective headquarters. 

On December 20th, 500 friendlies left Pine 
Ridge for the Bad Lands to urge the hostiles to 
come in. 39 of Sitting BulPs followers sent word 
that they would return. This was regarded as 
most favorable news. Big Foot and Stump sur- 
rendered and returned to the agency. General 
Miles had all his troops well in hand, and the cor- 
don was so tight that none of the hostiles could 
escape, not even through the intricate passages of 
the Bad Lands. He was hopeful of a general sur- 
render at no distant day. Official data showed 
the following mortality in the attempt to arrest 
Sitting Bull:— 

** Police Force — Bull Head, in command, dan- 
gerously wounded (four wounds); Shave Head, 
First Sergeant, mortally wounded (since dead); 
Little Eagle, Fourth Sergeant, killed; Middle, 
private, painfully wounded ; Afraid of Soldier, 
private, killed; John Armstrong, special police, 
killed ; Hawkman, special police^ killed. 

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" Hostiles— Killed outright, Sitting Bull, Black 
Bird, Catch the Bear, Little Assinaboine, Crow 
Foot, (Sitting Bull's son, j; years old). (The 
above are designated as very bad men.) Spotted 
Horn Bull, a chief; Brave Thunder, a chief, and 
Chase, wounded. Several were badly wounded, 
but were carried oflf by their friends. 

On December 25, word came from Fort Bennett 
that the Indian war there was over. It seemed 
that the Indians there were worse scared than 
anybody, and would have come in long before, but 
for the fact that they feared massacre. After the 
Indians arrived at Bennett several councils of 
war were held to determine whether they would 
give up their arms or not. Finally they agreed 
to when General Miles asked them. Agent 
Palmer said: "No arms, no rations or blankets.** 
This soon brought them to time, and all arms 
were soon stacked at the agency. Captain Hearst, 
commanding oflScer at Fort Sully, received the 
capitulation of 174 Uncapapas, including 70 of 
Sitting Bull's band and 30 from Rosebud Agency. 
iNardsse Narcelle, boss farmer, brought in 41a 
of Big Foot's Indians. Out of these 98 stands of 
arms were collected. They were nearly all Win- 
chesters, of every description and of vety anti- 
quated pattern. 



Sitting Bull's men wanted to remain at Chey. 
enne, and said they are afraid to return to Stand* 
i:ig Rock. All surrendered, and the best of care 
was given them. All of the teams at the agency 
were started to Dupree, to bring in the sick women 
and children. Many of the leaders among the 
Indians acted very ugly in making final settle- 
ments, and there was a great deal of quarreling 
among themselves. 

Two attempts were made by hostiles to break 
up a camp of Cheyenne scouts on Battle Creek. 
The first attack was made by only a few of the 
Indians, who were quickly repulsed, with 
a loss of two killed and several wounded. Three 
of the Cheyenne Indian scouts were wounded, 
and it is thought one is fatally hurt 

The second attack was made after dark by 
what was supposed to be the whole band, who 
were led by Kicking Bear himself. Volley after 
volley was fired on both sides, and a desultory 
fire was kept up for an hour or more. ^ 

On December 28, General Miles received word ' 
of the success of the friendly commission sent into 
the Bad Lands. " The hostiles there,** says the 
dispatch, ^^had listened to the persuasion of 
General Brooke*s Ogalalla and Brule peace com- 
missioners, and were moving in toward Pine 

Ridge. This confirmed by General £tooke*s disf ^ 

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patches yesterday. The whole body of braves, 
squaws, and papooses of the Brules, Cheyennes 
and Northern Indians who have been enjoying 
several weeks' outing at the famous terrace of 
Wall Camps in the Bad Lands, killing and smok- 
ing beef, stealing horses and engaging in other 
healthful and exciting pastimes, are now en route 
to the hospitable agency at Pine Ridge. 

General Miles has issued orders to General 
Carr, Colonel Ofell and Captain Ford, in com- 
mand of the western and northern sections of the 
cordon, to send in forces to carefully search the 
Bad Lands for straggling Indians, cached arms, 
etc., and to draw in toward the agency. -^ 

It seems that Big Foot had made his escape 
firom the agency after his surrender, and had f uc- 
ceeded in eluding pursuit But his camp was 
now found near Wounded Knee, by General 
Forsyth's command, and he determined to dis- 
arm it at once. He, (December 29th,) issued 
orders to have the 150 male Indians, who had 
been prisoners called from the tepees, saying he 
wanted to talk to them. They obeyed slowly and 
sullenly, and ranged in a semi-circle in front of 
the tent where Big Foot, their chief, lay sick 
with pneumonia. By twenties they were ordered 
to give up their arms. The first twenty went to 
their tents and came back with only two guns* 




This irritated Major Whiteside, who was super- 
intending this part of the work. After a hasty 
consultation with General Forsyth he gave the 
order for the cavalrymen^ who were all dismount- 
ed and formed in almost a square about 25 paces 
back, to close in. They did so and took a stand 
within 20 feet of the Indians, now in their centre. 
When this was done a detachment of cavalrymen 
afoot was sent to search the tepees. 

This work had hardly been entered upon when 
the 120 desperate Indians turned upon the sol- 
diers who were gathered closely about thetepees, 
and immediately a storm of firing was poured 
upon the military. 

It was as though the order to search had been 
•the signal. The soldiers, not anticipating any 
such action, had been gathered in very closely, 
and the first firing was terribly disastrous to 
them. The reply was immediate, however, and 
in an instant it seemed that the draw in which 
the Indian camp was set, was a sunken Vesuvius. 
The soldiers, maddened at the sight of their fall- 
ing comrades, hardly awaited the command, and 
in a moment the whole front was a sheet of fire, 
above which the smoke rolled) obscuring the cen- 
tral scene firom view. 

Through this horrible curtain single Indians 
could be seen at times flying before the ^IIJ^.^^ 

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after the first discharge from the carbines of the 
troopers there were few of them left ; they fell on 
all sides like grain in the course of the scythe. 
Indians and soldiers lay together, and wounded 
fought on the ground. Off through the draw 
toward the bluffs the few remaining warriors fled. 
Turning occasionally to fire, but now evidently 
caring more for escape than battle. Only the 
wounded Indians seemed possessed of the courage' 
of devils. From the ground where they had fallen 
they continued to fire until their ammunition was 
gone or until killed by the soldiers. ^ 

Both sides forgot everything, excepting only 
the loading and discharging of arms.' It was only 
in the early part of the affray that hand to hand 
fighting was seen. The carbines were clubs, 
sabres gleamed, and war clubs, circling in the air, 
came down like thunder bolts. But this was only 
for a short time. The Indians could not stand 
that storm from the soldiers — ^they had not hoped 
to. It was only a stroke of life before death. The 
remnant fled, and the battle became a hunt It 
was now that the artillery was called into requisi- 
tion. Before, the fighting was so close that the 
guns could not be trained without danger of death 
to the soldiers. Now, with the Indians flying 
where they might, it was easier to reach them. 
The Catling and H^tchldss guns were trained, 



and then began a heavy firing which lasted half 
an hour, with frequent heavy volleys of musketry 
and cannon. 

It was a war of extermination now with the troop- 
ers and it was diflScult to restrain the troops. The 
tactics were almost abandoned. About the only 
tactics were to kill while it could be done. Wher- 
ever an Indian could be seen, down into the creek 
and up over the bare hills they were followed by 
artillery and musketry fire, and for several 
minutes the engagement went on, until not a live 
Indian was in sight 

On December 30, the following official tele- 
grams passed : 

The losses in this sudden affair were, Captain 
Wallace, 7th Cavalry, and 25 men killed ; Lieu- 
tenant Garlington and 34 men wounded; also 
Lieutenant Hawthorne, ad Cavalry, and 150 In- 
dians killed, wounded and captured. The news of 
the battle at Wounded Knee excited the Indians 
at Pine Ridge in an alarming manner. The en-^ 
tire camp was soon in commotion, and the rest 
less young bucks at once took to the hills, 
apparently eager for the fray. Even the most 
loyal of the Indians were affected, and the 
couriers themselves seemed eager for blood. It 
was not long before desultory firing was heard 

near the agency. . r\r\c\lt> 

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General Brook telegraphed as follows : 
Colonel Forsyth saj'^s 62 dead Indian men were 
counted on the plain where the attempt was made 
to disarm Big Foot's band and where the fight 
begun ; on other parts of the ground there where 
18 more. These did not include those killed in 
ravines, where dead warriors were seen but not 
counted. Six were brought in badly wounded 
and six others were with a party of 23 men and 
women, which Captain Jackson had to abandon 
when attacked by about 160 Brule Indians from 
the agency. This accounts for 92 men killed 
and leaves but few alive and unhurt. The women 
and children broke for the hills when the fight 
commenced and comparatively few of them were 
hurt and few brought in. 39 are here, of which 
number, 21 are wounded. Had it not been for the 
attack by the Brules an accurate account would 
have been made, but the ravines were not searched 
afterwards. I think this shows very little appre- 
hension from Big Foot's band in the future. A 
party of 40 is reported as held by the scouts at 
the head of Mexican Creek. These consist of all 
sizes, and the cavalry from Rosebud will bring 
them in if it is true. 

John R. Brooks. 

These Indians under Big Foot were among the 
most desperate there were ; 38 of the remainder 



of Sitting BulPs following that joined Big Foot 
on the Cheyenne river, and 30 that broke away 
from Hump's following, when he took his band 
and Sitting BulPs Indians to Fort Bennett, 
making in all, nearly 160 warriors. Before leaving 
their camps on the Fort Cheyenne River they cut 
up their harness, mutilated tbeir wagons, and 
started South for the Bad Lands, evidently intend- 
ing not to return, but to go to war. Troops were 
placed between them and ^he Bad Lands, and 
they never succeededin joining the hostiles there. 
All their movements were intercepted, and their 
severe loss at the hands of the Seventh Cavalry, 
may be a wholesome lesson to the other Sioux. 


General Schofield said that the fight was a 
most unfortunate occurrence, but that he did not 
see how it could have been avoided. He sent a 
telegram to General Miles sa3ring that he 
regarded the news received from him as still en- 
couraging, and expressing an opinion that he 
(Miles) would be master . of the situation very 
soon. He also expressed his thanks to the 
officers and men of the Seventh Cavalry' for the 
gallant conduct displayed by them. 

This fight gave rise to a remarkable diversity 
of sentiment among army officers and civilians. 
The slaughter of women and childreui a thingr 

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SO unusual in civilized warfare, called for an 
explanation and defence. General Forsyth was 
placed under duress and a commission was ordered 
to inquire into the fact whether he had been guilty 
of conduct unbecoming an officer. The moral 
effect of his victory was lost in the suspicions 
which clouded it The Commissioner of Indian 
affairs wrote to the Supervisor of Education at 
Pine Ridge for his opinion of the battle. His 
reply, in brief, was : 

'The testimony of the survivors of Big Foot's 
band is unanimous on one important point-— 
namely, that the Indians did not deliberately 
plan a resistance. The party was not a war 
party, according to their statements (which I be- 
lieve to be true), but a party intending to visit the 
agency at the invitation of Red Cloud. ^ \ 

The Indians say that many of the men were 
unarmed. When they sent the troops they antic* 
ipated no trouble. There was constant friendly ^ 
intercourse between the soldiers and the Indians, 
even women shaking hands with the officers and 
men. The demand for their arms was a surprise 
to the Indians, but the great majority of them 
chose to submit quietly. The tepees had already 
been searched, and a large number of guns, 
knives and hatchets confiscated when the search* 
ing of the persons of the men was begun. 



The women say that they too were searched, 
and their knives (which they always carried for 
domestic purposes) taken from them. A num- 
ber of the men had surrendered their rifles and 
cartridge belts, when one young man (who is 
described by the Indians as a good-for-nothing 
young fellow) fired a single shot This called 
forth a volley from the troops, and the firing and 
confusion became general. 

I do not credit the statement, which has been 
made by some, that the women carried arms and 
participated actively in the fight The weight of 
testimony is overwhelmingly against this sup- 
position. There may have been one or two isolated 
cases of this kind, but there is no doubt that the 
great majority of the women and children, as well 
as many unarmed men and youth, had no thought 
of anything but flight They were pursued up 
the ravines and shot down indiscriminately by the 

It is reported that one of the officers called out, 
"Don*t shoot the squaws,'* but the men were 
doubtless too much excited to obey. The killing 
of the women and children wa§ iu part unavoid- 
able, owing to the confusion, but I think there is 
no doubt that it was in many cases deliberate ai}d 
intentional. The 7th Cavalry, Custer's old com- 
mand, had an old grudge to repay, t r-v r^ /-t T /> 
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The party of scouts who buried the dead report 
eighty-four bodies of men and boys, forty-four 
of women, and eighteen of young children. Some 
were carried off by the hostiles. A number of 
prisoners, chiefly women, have since died 
of their wounds, and more will soon follow. 
The party who visited the battlefield on Jan- 
nary i to rescue any wounded who might have 
been abandoned, and brought in seven, report 
that nearly all the bodies of the men were lyiug 
close about Big Foot's tents, while the women and 
children were scattered along a distance of two 
miles from the scene of the encounter. 

The main reflection which occurs to me in con. 
nection with this most important affair, is that the 
same thing should not be allowed to happen again. 
The irresponsible action of one hot headed youth 
should not be the signal for a general and indis- 
criminate slaughter of the unarmed and helpless. 
■ The battle of Wounded Knee was followed by 
an attack on the Catholic Mission at Clay Creek. 
The dispatches from Pine Ridge respecting this 
afl^r, read as follows : 

The Seventh Cavalry had just reached camp 
yesterday morning, (Dec. 30th.) after repulsing 
the attack made on their supply train by Two 
Strike's band, when a courier arrived with word 
that the Catholic mission was on fire and thp 




teachers and pupils were being massacred. In 
20 minutes the weary and hungry and almost 
exhausted cavalry were once more in motion. 
They found that the fire was at the day school 
one mile this side of the mission. 

The Indians, under command of Little Wound 
and Two Strike, were found to the number of 
1800 about a mile beyond the Mission. The 
Seventh formed a line and began the fighting, 
which was carried on by only 30 or 40 Indians 
at a time, while the great mass kept concealed. 
General Forsyth suspected an ambush and did 
not let them draw him into dangerous ground. 
Colonel Henry started one hour later tlian Fors3rth, 
and, owing to the exhaustion of his horses, had 
to travel very slow. The Seventh became sur- 
rounded by the redskins, but just as the circle 
was ready to charge, the Ninth broke in upon the 
rear of the hostiles and they vanished. The 
weary soldiers slowly retreated, reaching the 
agency at dark. The infantry had been ordered 
out, but were stopped by the sight of the head of 
the column of cavalry. The soldiers, heroic and 
brave as they were, were greatly outnumbered, 
and there are not enough troops at this point to 
clean out these Indians, who are still camped 
withinseven miles of the agency. The damage j 
sustained by the troops is smalL Lieutenant [C 

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Mann, of Company E, Seventh Cavalry, was 
wonnded, shot through the side* The First 
Sergeant of Company K was also wounded. 

The situation was exceedingly gloomy in 
every respect The weather became intensely 
cold. Blinding snow storms were raging. Bands 
of hostiles renewed their depredations all along 
the Nebraska and Dakota border, and the militia 
of the former State was called into service. Gen- 
etal Miles took the field in person and started 
from Chadwick to Pine Ridge at the head of a 
large force of cavalry. Rumors were constantly 
arriving to hand, of the breaking away of the In- 
dians from the agency for the purpose of joining 
thehostiles in the Bad Lands. Only squaws and 
those unable to fight remained behind to draw 
rations and keep up a show of friendliness. One 
of the most useful of the missionaries, Father Craft, 
received severe wounds in the indiscriminate 
firing around Pine Ridge. Sentiment seemed to 
shape up everywhere that a slaughter was immi- 
nent, and that nothing but an exterminating 
warfare would meet the situation. 

The dispatches of January x, 1891, dated at 
Pine Ridge ran as follows : 

The upper Brules are in open rebellion. After 
two months of unrest and uncertainty the Sioux 
have finally shown their hand. Three thousand 




of them, under the leadership of such cunning 
fellows as Big Road, Kicking Bear, Little Wound, 
Short Bull and Jack Red Cloud, and eveu old 
Red Cloud Himself, have turned upon, the Gov- 
ernment, for what will doubtless prove to be their 
last stand against the military. American Horse 
is the only remaining loyal chief, but his follow- 
ing is so small that it would make no difference 
whether he counseled war or peace. 

Squads of Indians have been leaving for the 
warpath to-day. Under the cloak of a heavy 
snow storm, they started off to the north, but 
their destination is not known. It is thought, 
however, that they will make for the Bad Lands, 
or the vicinity of the old Spotted Tail reserva- 
tion. Troops have been ordered to intercept 
them. Depredations have already begun on the 
ranches. Scores of houses along White River 
have been burned and the cattle run off and 

A scout, who came in Tuesday night, said that 
the hostiles, reassured by the fact that the sol- 
diers quit the field during the afternoon, had 
planned to attack and bum the agency with fire- 
arrows, then stampede the troops and massacre 
the inhabitants. The report was true to some 
extent, but the heavy lines of pickets stopped the 
savages. ^^ ^ 

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General Brooke ordered 100,000 rounds of 
ammunition from Omaha. 

The panic in the railroad towns in the vicinity 
of Pine Ridge was indescribable. Settlers were 
pouring into the villages on foot, in wagons and 
on horseback. Many of them abandoned their 
stock and household goods, while others brought 
their cattle and ponies with them. Some of the 
refugees who traveled through the blizzard were 
badly frozen, and many women and children 
became ill from exposure. ^ 

On the morning of January 2d, 1891, General 
Miles telegraphed General Schofield, saying that 
3,000 Indians, men, women and children, and in- 
cluding about 600 bucks, are now encamped in a 
section of the Bad Lands, about fifteen miles from 
the Pine Ridge agency, and that there is almost 
a cordon of troops around them. General Miles 
announces that he hopes to be able to induce 
these hostiles to surrender without a struggle. 
The spot where they are encamped he describes 
as somewhat like the lava beds of California, 
where the Modocs made their final fight. It is an 
excellent position from an Indian standpoint, but 
there are no avenues of escape, all having been 
closed by the troops. General Miles says the In- 
dians have gathered some cattle and provisions, 
and appear to be determined to make their fight 



for supremacy at this point He says he will 
make another eflfort to get them back to the 
agency without bloodshed, and, in order to do so, 
he has established a regular siege around this 

The forces at his command at this date were 
the First, Sixth, Seventh (eight companies), and 
Ninth Cavalry; one company of the First Artil- 
lery, Company E ; one company of the Fourth 
Artillery, Company F; and the First, Second, 
Third, Seventh, Eighth, Twelfth, Sixteenth, 
Seventeenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first, Twenty- 
second and Twenty-fifth Infantry, making in all 
15 1 companies. This should have meant an actual 
fighting force of at least 10,000 officers and men, 
but it is probable that the ranks were not full, 
and that the regular army under General Miles 
did npt exceed 8,000 men at the most. --> 

While every day brought his forces more and ' 
more in touch, there could be no doubt of the 
fact that the hostiles in the Bad Lands were being 
augmented by desertions from the agencies, and 
their leaders such as Short Bull, Two Strike and 
probably Red Cloud (though the latter was credited 
being in the employ of the Government), were 
very determined upon war. But while this was so, 
there was a large contingent of those who ranked 
as hostiles which favored peaceful f^^^>^^ /> 

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agencies. The hostiles, therefore, were dis- 
cordant, and time would only widen the sources 
of discontent The excitement attending and fol- • 
lowing the Wounded Knee affair, had interfered 
with the getting of accurate information, but 
General Miles persisted in a quiet and resolute 
movement of his forces toward the hostile centres. 
Old Red Cloud came on January 8th, and reported 
that he had lost all control over the younger men \ 
of his tribe. ^ 

'The nearness of the troops to the hostiles was 
attended with its dangers. Skirmishes were not 
infrequent. Scouting parties hardly knew what 
moment they might be the victims of ambush. 
On the line occupied by the 2 2d Infantry, almost 
incessant firing had been kept up for several 
days. On Jan. 7th, Lieutenant Casey was out 
with his scouts watching the hostile camp, and, 
with one Cheyenne, met two Indians, an Ogal* 
lalla and a Brule. The Ogallalla warned Lieu- 
tenant Casey that the Brules were bad, and would 
shoot As Lieutenant Casey turned to go away 
the Brule fired, striking him in the back of the 
head and killing ]iim instantly. Lieutenant 
Casey was one of the most brilliant and beloved 
officers of the service. He had been in command 
of a troop of Cheyenne scouts for about a year, 
and was working earnestly in the interest of the 



Indians themselves. He had a reputation in the 
army of possessing an unusually accurate 
knowledge of the Indian character. 

At this critical date the Interior Department 
of the Government summed up the situation as 
follows : 

There are in all about 20,ocx> Sioux Indians, ' 
men, women and children, on the Northern res- 
ervations. Of this number 16,500 are accounted 
for, as they are living on the reservations in peace 
and not taking any part in the present disturb- 
ance. This leaves about 3,500 men, women and 
children to face the earthworks, the howitzers 
and the 8,000 men now under the command of 
General Miles. The hostile camp is located 
about 17 miles north of the agency, and the cor- 
don of troops surrounds the hostile camp, with 
the exception of the south side, the object being 
to drive the Indians into the reservation. There 
is constant communication between the hostile 
camp and the agency. The hostiles are well 
supplied with beef, but they have no sugar or 
coflfee, except as they are supplied by the ** friend- - 
lies,'' as the reservation Indians are called. 
While the situation is regarded as a hopeless one 
for the Indians, yet it is believed that they have 
no intention of surrendering. I 

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At this juncture the Government deemed it 
wise to transfer the agencies from the Interior to 
the War Department General Miles regarded 
this as an excellent move. It avoided conflict of 
authority and left him unmolested in his policy 
of slowly drawing his cordon around thehostiles, 
avoiding bloodshed, unless it became inevitable, 
giving them time to get over their craze and re- 
turn to reason. He w^ convinced that dissen- 
sions among the hostiles were daily growing, and 
that he could afford to wait, so long as they were 
destroying one another. 

At intervals of every two or three days, he or* 
dered his troops to take up advanced positions, a 
few miles nearer the hostile camps. These move- 
ments were generally made under cover of the 
night, and the following morning would reveal 
the unwelcome truth to the hostiles that their 
case was hourly growing more and more desperate. 
Moreover, proximity gave those who wished to 
come in a chance to do so, for they could reach the 
coverofthetroops without the dcmger of pursuit. 

By the 12th of December the policy of General 
Miles had begun to tell favorably on the hostiles. 
His show of force was such as to convince them 
of the futility of war on their part Their dissen* 
sions, their lack of food, the passing away of the 
craze, the growth of the impression that after all 





the troops were not intended for their extermiuap 
tion, a gradual subsidence of all the thoughts and 
passions that had persuaded them — all these had 
had time to operate. The panicky feeling of the last 
few days was passing away, and the beginning 
of a peaceful end was believed to be in sight 

This feeling was confirmed by news that prom- 
ineut chiefs were relenting and were anxious to 
come within the protection of the agency. Soon 
came other news to the effect that they were 
actually moving toward the agency with their 
followers. While they had to be watched as eni- 
mies, for there was no telling whether they were 
acting in good faith or not, they were nevertheless 
encouraged. Nothing was thrown in their way, 
on the contrary, they were permitted to move 
just as fast as they saw fit. the thought being 
that the more voluntary their surrender the more 
effective it would be. Gentle pressure was exert-- 
ed behind in the shape of a closing in of the 
troops. The scene about Pine Ridge grew ani- 
mated. The effect of the coming of the hostiles on 
those already within the agency was watched 
with interest, not to say apprehension. Every 
point available for strategy had been fortified and 
occupied, so that if the hostiles should infect the 
friendlies or should choose to break their 

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faithi they could be punished in a summary 

General Miles was now in a position to make 
the demand on those who came in, that a condition 
of their surrenderi should be a giving up of their 
arms. This hardest of all conditions for an In- 
dian, was sternly resented at first, but as the 
desperation of their situation became more and 
more apparent, it proved to be a condition to 
which they could concede, in their own way. 
Tkat way was peculiar, but not unnatural. They 
secreted all their new and available arms, and 
very complacently began to turn in their old and 
usdiess weapons. The trick was not resented^ 
for the time at least, the great point being to get 
a surrender. As long as the arms were not in 
hand, but cached in some out of the way place, 
the Indians would be as good as disarmed. The 
situation as shown by the dispatches of the 12th. 
of December was thus : 

The announcement that a large number of 
the hostiles had at length arrived within gunshot 
distance of the pickets spread with rapidity 
through the camp of the Indians near the camp 
fire. Immediately hundreds of squaws and chil* 
dren gathered in the vicinity of headquarters, 
whence a view of the blu£fs beyond upon which 
the hostiles were stationed could be obtained. 



They waited patiently for their brothers, lovers 
and husbands to appear, but as evening drew 
on and their devotion was not rewarded, they 
gradually retired to their tepees. 

At this writing there is no certainty as to what 
the Indians will do. General Miles himself is iu 
doubt as to what to expect then. They may, hfe 
says, get within gunshot of the agency, and then 
break away to the camp which they have just 
abandoned. Fear of all kinds of punishment 
seems to have taken possession of them, and it is 
generally understood that one injudicious act on 
the part of the soldiers, or the mad act of some 
implacable hostile would precipitate a fight, the 
consequence of which may be scarcely, imagined. 

Captain Ewers will start in a few days with 
Little Chiet*s band of 490 Cheyennes to take 
them to the Tongue River, Montana. Little 
Chief and his band have been ugly fighters in 
every war for the last twenty years. In 1876 
they were sent from this region to Fort Reno, 
and in 1878 fought their v^ay back through the 
settlements of iCansas, and Nebraska, to the 
Sand Hills, near Gordon, where they were cap- 
tured. Since then they have been good friends 
to the whites, and have made excellent police and 
scouts. The band have about 900 relatives on 

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the Tongue river, and have begged for several 
years to be transferred to the reservation. 

General Miles determined this morning not to 
parley nor confer again xidth the Indians, and 
this morning he sent a messenger to the hostiles 
camped at the Mission, stating his terms. He 
said they must come into the Agency in small 
squads, and go into camp on their grounds near 
the friendly Indians. He would not object if 
they choose their own camping grounds, but the 
Brules and Ogallallas must not camp together, 
and they must submit to the laws governing the 
reservatiou and to the agent 

The Indians themselves partially admit the 
chiefs cannot guarantee to control the warriors. 
They say they have among them about 300 young 
bucks who want to fight, and a single shot will 
start them. Besides this, the Indians who mur- 
dered Lieutenant Casey are known, and they 
know when they are taken they will be hanged 
for murder. They are among the belligerent 
young bucks, and they may precipitate a fight to 
prevent dying by the rope. There are all these 
possibilities which make it impossible to predict 
the result General Miles is required to exercise 
patiience almost to a ridiculous degree. He has 
given the matter already more time than there is 
any earthly reason for. If an attack is made, a 



cry will go up from the Indians that they were 
bringing in their wounded ; that their squaws 
had no ponies, and that they were not given time 
. to come in. It is well understood here what the 
efiFect of this complaint would be in the East, and 
so General Miles is compelled to wait and let 
the Indians suit themselves, and move back and 
forth at their pleasure. Some of them came to the 
Mission, six miles northwest of here, Saturday 
night Scouts reported that all the hostiles were 
there and they would be in Sunday morning. 
Double guards were put out, lights were kept in 
the tents all night, and every man slept with his 
arms within reach. In the morning word came that 
the band which had beeu at the Mission the night 
before had returned to the main body, 15 miles 
away, and that they were almost in. The hos- 
tiles have runners out, and they have been in 
the camp of the " friendlies ** for the last-' 24 
hours, trying to get into the military camp. The 
Indians are just as anxious to know what the 
whites are going to do as the whites are to know 
what the Indians, will do. 

Shortly after noon it was discovered that the 
hostiles had made a rapid advance, and about 
z,ooo of them had arrived to within 1,000 yards 
of the pickets outside the agency. General 

Miles and staff went to the pickci lines, and T^ 

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after a short inspection of the bands, returned to 
the agency for the time being. 

The Indians will not be permitted to enter the 
agency, and communication with them from 
'within has been prohibited. When the}* do 
come in the Ogallalla Sioux will be stationed near 
Red Cloud's house west of the agency, while the 
Brules will be placed on the east. On the same 
day General Miles wrote to Buffalo Bill that the 
hostiles were within half a mile of the agency 
and that nothing but an accident could prevent 
the establishment of peace. He authorized the 
withdrawal of the State troops and thanked them 
for the confidence they had afforded the people 
in their frontier homes. 

Though between three and four hundred of 
the hostiles broke away from their camp near the 
agency, on the morning of January 13th, and 
made their escape to the Bad Lands, the remain- 
der dung to their resolution to come in, and their 
camp was in full view of the agency fortifications. 
The view from the fortifications was grandly 
picturesque. Behind them was a natural amphi. 
theatre. A rugged broken slope two hundred 
feet to the crest It was just a mile from the 
agency, and White Clay creek runs beside it 
On the plain were tepees by the hundred, pitched 
irregulaxly, huddled together in groups here and 




scattered widely apart there. Moving about 
among the tepees a field glass showed the 
bucks and squaws with their children and 
dogs. Such a spectacle imprinted itself on the 
mind with startling clearness, for it was huge iu 
its grandeur, strikingly unique and wonderfully 1 
suggestive to the imagination. ^ 

Just betweeu the plain and the agency, perched 
on a hill behind earthworks, was a three-inch 
rifle, which was trained on the camp. It seemed 
to stare grimly down on the village of half^razed 
barbarians and to wani them of the awful horror 
that would follow one rash act 

General Miles sent the following to General 
Schofield: — 

" General Brooke^s command is now camped 
five miles distant on White Clay Creek, and 
the entire body of Indians are between the two 
commands. General Brooke has commanded his 
force with considerable skill and excellent judg- 
ment. The greatest difficulty is now to restore 
confidence. The Indians have great fear that 
arms will be taken away, and then all treated 
like those who. were on Wounded Knee They 
have a large number of wounded women and 
children, which creates a most depressing feeling 
among the families, and a desperate disposition 
among them. Military measures and movements T 

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liave been successful. Tlie control and govern- 
ment now becomes the problem, yet no serious 
embarrassment is apprehended at present" 

By January 15th the situation had much im- I 
proved. The dispatches ran thus : — 

"The Indians have at last come, or, rather 
are coming in. They string along the wMt 
bank of the White Clay Creek for a distance 
of two miles. They are mounted, walking, 
riding on wagons, and, in fact, are advancing 
in every manner known to them. They are 
driving and leading immense herds of ponies. 
Some of them are entering the friendlies* camp ; 
others are pitching their tepees on the west bank 
of the White Clay. These are the Ogallallas. 
The Brules, however, are camping in the bottom, 
around Red Cloud's house, and half a mile fn)m . 
the agency buildings. ^ 

The number of lodges i$ estimated at 742, and 
the ntrmber of Indians cannot be fewer than 3,500. 
General Brooke has been ordered to march with 
his command from below the mission to this 
point and will reach here to4ay. A part of his 
command will camp on the west bank of White 
Clay, extending north of the Indians, while 
another will flank them on the west and south. 
The advance guard of the hostiles had scarcely 
reached the agency when Big Road sent woxti . 




that he had collected the arms of his followers 
and wanted to surrender them to the agency. 
When the weapons came in they were found to 
consist of simply two shot-guns, a heavy rifle and 
a broken carbine, two Sharp^s rifles and one Win- 
Chester — nine guns in all. 

This surrender is an evidence that the Indians 
do not propose to give up all their guns and that 
they have hidden their best weapons in the hills. 
Standing Bear, American Horse, White Bird and 
Spotted Horse, friendly chiefs, are now asking 
protection from the hostiles, who have camped 
among them.'' 

Official dispatches from General Miles to Gen- 
eral Schofield contained the following :— 

'^In order to restore entire confidence among 
these Indians, I have found it necessary to send 
a delegation to Washington, to receive assurance 
of the highest authority of the good intentions of 
the Government toward them. This will answer 
a double purpose, namely, satisfy them, bridge 
over the transition period between war and peace, 
dispel distrust and hostility, and restore confid* 
ence. It will also be a guarantee of peace while 
they are absent. I ask that my action may 
receive the approval of the Department by tele- 
graph. Bver3rthing is progressing satisfactorily! 

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and r can see no reason why perfect peace may 
not be established.'' 

The reply from Schofield was :— 

"The Secretary of War conferred with the 
President and the Secretary of the Interior, in 
regard to your proposal to send a delegation of 
the Sioux Chiefs to Washington, and they 
approve of your recommendation. 

The Secretary of the Interior has sent an 
agent to conduct them. It is desired that the 
delegation be as small as possible, five or six, or 
not more than ten. If the delegation has already 
started, telegraph at once the number, route and 
commanding officer/' _ 

On the same date, January 15th, 189 1, Gen* 
eral Miles telegraphed to Schofield,^ announc- 
ing the end of Indian troubles in the 
west ^' The entire camp of Indians," says 
Miles, '^ came into the agency this morning. 
They moved in three columns while passing 
under the guns of the command." 

General Miles thought it fair to estimate their 
number at not less than 4,000 people. He says 
he has directed the chiefs to have the different 
bands gather up their arms and turn them in, 
which they were doing. He continues : 

'* Kicking Bear, supposed to be the leader, was 
the first to surrender his rifle this morning, and 




Others of the same character will follow his 
example. Of course, many of the young men 
may hold .back an^ may cache their arms, but I 
believe the disarming will be complete. Both 
officers and men have exercised and maintained 
a most commendable discipline, patience and 
fortitude. All are gratified with the result It 
will require some time to get the Indians under 
full control, but everything is moving in a satis- 
factory manner. The troops under General 
Brooke have moved forward and are now in three 
strong commands, with the Indians, upward of 
7,000, in the centre, the whole within the radius 
of ten miles." 

In reply to the telegram sent by General 
Schofield concerning the departure of the Indian ' 
delegation for Washington, Genera! Miles says: 
^^ There is no necessity of haste. I do not intend 
to send delegation until this matter is entirely 
settled here, and Indians do as I have directed, 
which directions they are now compl3ring with in 
every respect This Indian war I now consider 
at an end in the most satisfactory manner. A 
more complete submission to the military 
power has never been known." 

The situation on Jan. i6th, 1891, was that 6,000 
Indians still dung to their Winchesters with 

grim determination. ^1 must have 

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General Miles, ^^even if it becomes necessary to 
}>our a few wagon loads of lead into their camp in 
order to get them.'' He told the Chiefs that 
nothing short of a full surrender of arms would 
be accepted as an evidence of surrender. The 
Chiefs gave their word that every effort would be 
made to get the guns away from their followers, 
but every device was resorted to by the holders 
to avoid facing the music, while not a few posi- 
tively refused to accept the terms offered. Miles 
remained firm and gave notice that all who did 
not give up their guns by night would have them 
taken away by force. 

On the 17th, General Miles asked for a con«^ 
fexence with the principal Chiefs. There was an 
immediate response. Among the Chiefs were 
Two Strikes, Short Bull, Eagle Pipe, Crow Dog, 
Big Turkey, Black Robe, Kicking Bear, Iron 
Foot and Man Raised Above. The Chiefs were 
Brules, and when the subject of returning to their 
agency at Rosebud was broached they said they 
were in favor of returning if a militaty man . 
should be placed over them as agent 

After a little more parleying Big Road stood 
up and solemnly and dramatically proclaimed 
himself in favor of peace. At the same time he 
asked those who wished to join him in restoring 
peace and working for the prosperity of their 

people, to raise their right hand towards Heaven. 
Immediately every right hand in the gathering 
was raised on high, and, with a general shaking 
of hands, the conference came to a dose. 

On January i8th, the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary Noble), stated his views of the situa- 
tion, now that he had been given to understand 
that the Indian trouble was practically over. 
First of all, he believed the Indians had no legiti- 
mate use for firearms, and, therefore, should be 
required to dispose of them. 

Second, he thought that the intellect that could 
master the mechanical intricacies of the rifle was 
fully capable of comprehending and appreciating 
the usefulness and noble simplicity of the plow. 
He proposed to give the hostile Sioux an oppor- 
tunity as well as an incentive to earn their own 
living. Of the 244,ocx> Indians in the United 
States, over two-thirds were earning their own 
living, and making material progress in civiliza- 
tion. The other third were depending largely, 
if not entirely, upon the Government for support. 
Of this latter class a large majority were Sioux, 
and they had become boastful, arrogant and dic- 
tatorial. They had been allowed to come to 
Washington every year or two, and had become 
deeply impressed with their own importance. 
Some of those who are most vehement in their 

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demands that they continue to be fed and wholly 
maintained at the expense of the Government 
are the owners of quite large herds of cattle, from 
which they realize considerable suras of money. 
Nevertheless they insist, with much gusto, that 
the Government shall feed them, and when their 
rations are slightly reduced they daub on the 
paint and start out on the warpath. I am in favor, 
said the Secretary, of making these people work for 
their living, just as we white people are doing. They 
are strong, able-bodied men, of average intelligence, 
and there is no reason why they should not earn 
their bread. The Government has treated them 
with great generosity and consideration; especi* 
ally is this true during the last half century. 
In the early days the settlers treated them as 
murderers of innocent men, women and children, 
and the insatiable enemies of the white race. 
Latterly they have beeen treated with more than 
kindness, and so they have come to believe that 
the white people are under never-ending obliga* 
tions to them. 

The time has fully come, in the opinion of the 
Secretary, when the hostile Sioux should be 
compelled to do something for their own support 
They should be treated with perfect fairness and 
justice, but work should enter largely into any 
policy or schemt for their civilization. 



By January 22nd, the suomission of the hos- 
tiles had been so complete that General Miles 
resolved upon an honorary parade of his troops, 
the design being to celebrate the return of peace 
and to impress the Indians with the power of the 
Government, and a sense of their own weakness. 
Ten thousand Sioux were given an opportunity to 
view the strength and discipline of the force they 
had confronted. The day was one of the most dis- 
agreeable of the campaign. A furious wind blew 
from the north, driving sand and snow over the 
valley in blinding and choking sheets. The 
camp of the soldiers . was two miles from the 
agency. Through a stifling gale of sand Gen- 
eral Miles aud his stafif rode in a ragged group, 
the wind tossing the tails of their horses over 
their flanks. It was after 10 o'clock when all the 
preparations were complete for the review. The 
summits of the buttes to the north were then 
fringed with Sioux warriors, who were closely 
wrapped in their blankets and staring at the long 
lines of cavalrymen and infantry which stretched 
away to the south until they were lost in the 
flying sand. The redskins were still suspicious 
that some move would be made to wipe them off 
the face of the earth. Stretching in a long ' 
ghostly line along the ridge of the buttes to the 
north were their pickets ready to give the word[^ 

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that would send the redskins flying in case the 
soldiers should advance upon them. 

General Miles sat upon his black horse on a 
knoll to the east in front of his escort Finally 
there came through the gale the slxnll notes of 
bugles. They were so faint that they were almost 
lost in the storm. Then one by one the troops 
took up the call and the great parade of the 
Regular Army began to pass in review. Gen* 
eral Brooke, muffled up in a wolf skin overcoat, 
grimy from the sand that swirled about his horse, 
and followed by his staff, led the procession. 
When the horsemen passed in front of General 
Miles, the two leaders of the campaign tipped 
their hats, then General Brooke took a position 
beside his superior. 

A cloud of sand now swept across the prairie, 
but through the blinding sheet, and with heads 
muffled in huge fur capes, came the great detach- 
ment of Sioux scouts with Captain Taylor, with 
his sword at a salute, at their head. Sergeant 
Redshirt, the handsomest Indian in the Sioux 
nation, was at the extreme right Yankton Char- 
lie, who saved the revolvers of poor Lieutenant 
Casey, rode at the left of the line, his overcoat 
buttoned so closely about him that the war feath« 
era on his breast were concealed. 




Behind these famous scouts was the First Reg- 
iment Band, of Angel Island, California, in fur 
mittens and caps, playing a march which was al* 
most lost in the roar of the storm. Then came 
the great swinging column of infantry, in brown 
canvas overcoats, fur caps, and the glittering bar- 
rels of their rifles over their shoulders. Colonel 
Shafter rode at the head of the advance columns. 
The men marched in company front, with their 
red and white guidons tattered by shot and shell 
snapping spitefully in the gale. This was the fa« 
mous First Regiment of the army, and as its offi* 
cers passed in front of General Miles, their swords 
flashed through the flying sand and then fell at 
their saddle girths. The band now ceased play- 
ing, andin place of its melody there came the 
stirring and shrill mutterings of a dozen bugles. 
Behind the trumpeters tramped the Second In« 
fantry, of Omaha, in blue overcoats and brown 
leggings, with Major Butler at their head ; and 
then came the Seventeenth Infantry, swinging 
along with the jauntiness it displayed when it 
marched through the blizzard and sand along 
•Cheyenne River. 

There was a rumbling back of the Infantry 
where the mules were dragging the machine can- 
non. Those guns, the Indians declare, shoot 

to-day and kill to-morrow. Behindithesejaturlune^ 

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cannon was Captain Capron*s battery of three 
inch rifled guns, with soldiers holding their car- 
bines and sitting on the caissons. Behind the 
artillery was General Carr, astride a bay horse 
and leading the Sixth Calvary, which has cut its 
way through the southwest from the Indian 
Nation to the Rio Grande. His entire regiment 
was prancing behind him, the troopers being 
mu£Bled in canvas overcoats, with their rifles slung 
tO' their saddles. General Carr*s hat went oflf 
with deliberate grace. Its response was the dip- 
ping of General- Miles* sombrero. Then the 
famous leader of the southwestern troopers drew 
up alongside of General Miles and General 
Brooke, while his troops pushed forward through 
the storm. More Hotchkiss guns followed, and 
then came the Leavenworth battalion, a mixed 
regiment commanded by Colonel Sanford. Be- 
hind these troops was still another battery of 
Hotchkiss guns, the carriages of which still bore 
evidences of the furious storm of shot that raged 
for an hour at Wounded Knee. 

A lean, shrunken face man, with his overcoat 
buttoned tightly around his throat, and mounted 
on a splendid horse, followed the cannon. It was 
Colonel Guy V. Henry, who was shot through 
the face in a battle with the Sioux, in 1876, and 
vAo 4ed 'his -flying negzo troops of the 9th 



Cavalry, in the all-night ride of 80 miles, to save 
the 7th Cavalry, which was threatened with 
Custer's fate at the Catholic Mission, less than 
four weeks ago. Behind him were long lines of 
black faces peering from fur caps and the high 
collars of buffalo overcoats. The negro Cavalry 
came in unbroken columns, with its world-famed 
and decorated heroes of the Thomburg massacre 
riding at the extreme left, and their carbines at 
a salute. Eveiy man in the 9th Cavalry was in 
that long ebony wave of faces, and as it swept in 
front of General Miles, the famous Indian fighter 
dipped his hat again and again. 

There was another battery of machine guns, 
and then came in long column front the most 
celebrated regiment in the Western Army. It 
was preceded by a bugle corps, mounted on white 
horses, and from the glittering instruments there 
came a roar that even the screaming of the storm 
could not drown. The troopers of the 7th 
Cavalry, a regiment that has been torn and leveled 
by the silent ghost dancers on the buttes, was 
approaching. The musicians, from California 
began to play "Garryowen,'* a stirring, rollicking 
melody, which Custer said was fit music for any 
soldier's death. The troopers came with their 
carbines at a salute and their blue capes flung 
back^ so that their yellow linings were exposedj 

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Major Whiteside was in command of the regi* 
ment As it passed General Miles^ the whole 
staff doffed their hats^ while the Commander him« 
self waved his white-gloved hand. Troop after 
troop passed by with guidons that bad been 
riddled by Indian bullets, until B troop and K 
troop came in view. The appearance of these 
troops aroused the emotions of the spectators. 
B troop was not so large as those that had pre- 
ceded it, and K troop was even smaller. When 
the savages at Wounded Knee turned their car* 
bines on the soldiers, these troops faced an awful 
fire. K troop was without its Commander and 
all of its commissioned and non-commissioned 
officers. The only officer to lead B troop was a 
second lieutenanti with a bandage about his head, 
but the gallant troopers who remained rode with 
a proud bearing. Their rifles were held over the 
heads of their horses. Behind the Cavalry came 
the hospital and supply trains and pack mules. 

The column was an hour passing General 
Miles, their being nearly 4,000 soldiers and 3,700 
horses and mules in line. 

Such was the end of the Indian uprising of 
1890-9Z, in the north-west The promised Com- 
mission of Indian Chiefs came duly to Washing- 
ton to consult with the " Great Father." They 
arrived about the last of January 1891, and were 



received, as all similar delegations have been, 
with impressive honors mingled with curiosity. 
They were shown around the Capital City to 
impress them with the exhaustless resources of 
the whites, and the beauty and comfort to be 
attained by our superior civilization. They 
were shown our arsenals, guns great and 
small, and our endless supplies of ammunition, 
as much as to say, ^'What General Miles has 
shown you at Pine Ridge is nothing to what 
we have in reserve for you if you do not behave 
yourselves." They were dined and wined to give 
them a good impression of our hospitality. 
About the time they were supposed to be in 
prime condition for an official reception by the 
"Great Father," another delegation of Chiefs 
came upon the scene, who claimed to be better 
representatives of the Sioux tribe and of the 
Indian situation, than the first. They pro- 
claimed that the first delegation embraced only 
worthless Chiefs, who would not work and who 
were hostile at heart, whatever their professions 
might be. As this chapter closes, these rival 
delegations are urging their respective claims on 
the Government, with the prospect of exhausting 
the patience of the authorities, and achieving 
nothing of moment at last 

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Chapter XIX. 


f\ MID the sensationalism of the newspaper 
1^ press and the prejudicial accounts of the 
/ ' Indian situation which go out from the 
agencies and the conflicting missionary 
centres one feels glad to strike a vein of candor. 
Such would seem to be found in the statements of 
Gen. Nelson A. Miles, who has not only mastered 
the recent critical situation, but who has been in 
contact with the Indians for a sufficiently long 
time to enable him to reason correctly and ex« 
press himself intelligently and truthfully. He 
is the best situated man in the country to state 
impartially what he knows of the relation of the 
Red to the White race. That he has done so in 
his contribution to the JVor/A American Review^ 
for January iSpi^no one can have cause to doubt 
We are so entirely convinced of the value of his 
views as to regard them as fitted for a permanent 
place in the history of Indian affairs, ^nd as in- 
valuable in the consideration of such a policy as 


will do credit to a powerful and advancing nation 
in its dealings with a weaker and receding nation. 
His conclusions^ as given in very nearly his own 
language are as follows ; — 

The fact that we have had a few years of peace 
is no guarantee that it will continue. Within 
the last sixteen years we have had no less than 
nine Indian wars, and now we find ourselves 
threatened with a more serious and general up- 
rising than any that has occurred during the 
whole history of Indian warfare. The confedera- 
tion of the "Six Nations" by the prophet, the 
campaigns of Tecumseh, and the conspiracy of 
Pontiac did not extend over so vast an area of 
country, or embrace so many different tribes, 
many of whom have been hostile to each other, 
. as the present conspiracy ; and while the condi- 
tions are somewhat similar to those which have 
preceeded other Indian confederations, conspira- 
cies and wars, this one has unusual features and 
^ The Indians are practically a doomed race, and 
none realize it better than themselves. They have 
contended inch by inch for every foot of territory 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The strength, 
superior intelligence and ingenuity of the white 
racein the construction of weapons of war, and 
their vast superiority in numbers, have not d^-^ 

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terredthe Indians from resisting the power of 
the whites and beginning hostilities, sometimes 
even with apparently little justification, cause 
or hope of success ; and there would be nothing 
x^markable in the history of such a warlike 
people, if they made one desperate e£fort in the 
death-struggle of the race. 

The subjugation of a race by their enemies 
cannot but create feelings of most intense hatred 
add animosity. Possibly if we should put ourselves 
in their place, we might comprehend their feel- 
ings. Suppose, for instance, that instead of 
being a nation of vast wealth, population, pros- 
perity and happiness, our numbers were narrow- 
ed down to two hundred and fifty thousand souls, 
scattered in bands, villages or settlements of 
from five hundred to twenty thousand people, 
and confined within the limits of comparatively 
small districts. Suppose this vast continent had 
been overrun by sixty millions of people from 
Africa, India, or China, claiming that their 
civilization, customs, and beliefs were older and 
better than ours, compelling us to adopt their 
habits, language and religion, obliging us to wear 
the same style of raiment, cut our hair according 
to their fashion, live upon the same food, sing 
fhe same songs, worship the same AUah^, 
Vishnus and Brahmas; and we realized that 



such a conquest and the presence of such a horde 
of enemies had become a withering blight and a 
destroying scourge to our race: what' then 
would be our feelings towards such a people ? 
In considering this question we may be able to 
realize something of the feelings of the Indians 
to-day. They remember the romance of the 
freedom and independence they once enjoyed; 
the time when they could move from one pleasant 
valley to another ; when they had all that an In- 
dian desires, namely, plenty of food, comfortable 
lodges made of skins of the bu£falo or elk, plenty 
of their kind of clothing ; and when they were 
allowed to enjoy their customs, rites^ and amuse- 
ments, savage and brutal as they were. 

The first time the writer met Sitting Bull was 
under a flag of truce between the lines, when he 
had a thousand warriors behind him ; and during 
the conversation I think he expressed in a few 
words the true sentiment of the Indian. He was 
what might be considered a devotional man, 
frequently offering a little prayer and saluting 
the Great Spirit. One remark of his is certainly 
significant Raising his eyes toward heaven, he 
said : ^^ God Almighty made me an Indian, and 
he did not make me an agency Indian, and I do 
not intend to be one.'' That remark was in- 
dorsed by huge grunts of the stalwart savafi^es 

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within hearing, and it is the sentiment of the 
non-treaty, disaffected Indians of every tribe in 
every section of the great West They prefer to 
be Indians in their wild and independent life 
rather than to be confined to the limits of any 

While we have continued the policy of using 
the military force of the government against 
th^m with all severity, as soon as that is com- 
pleted and the tribes are subjugated, they are 
suddenly turned over to civilians, some from the 
far-off Eastern States, to try various experiments 
and to carry out the theories that they have of 
civilization. Take, for instance, the Kiowas, 
Cheyennes and Comanches of the Indian Terri- 
tory. Their history has been a history of peace 
and war for many years. In 1874 they had a 
great convention or medicine-dance, which result- 
ed in a general uprising, in which they became a 
terror to the whole southwest country. After 
committing many crimes and after many engage- 
ments with the troops, they were finally worn 
down and subjugated, and surrendered with 
scarcely any means of continuing hostilities. 
Most of the few remaining war ponies they had 
were sold; they gave up their pale and emaciated 
white captives, who in turn passed down the line 
of warriors and pointed out not less than seventy 



Comanches who had committed horrible atrocities 
during the eight mouths of hostility. These 
seventy warriors were sent to Florida for punish- 
ment and the military control of the tribes was 
withdrawn. Within a few years the warriors 
were returned to the Indian Territory, and in 
nine years from that time the same Indians^were 
rearmed and remounted, in better condition for 
war than before, and ripe for an outbreak. The 
commanding general of the army and the depart- 
ment commander were sent to the Indian Teni 
tory, and nearly one-fourth of the army was 
concentrated in that department to prevent 
a serious outbreak, endangering the peace of 
Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, by 
the same Indians who are now in a threatening 

Again, take the Sioux nation, that committed 
the terrible massacre of *62 in Minnesota, in 
which it was authoritatively stated that one 
thousand lives were lost, and a very large mili- 
tary force was employed to bring them under 
control. Thirty of the principal leaders were 
tried and hanged, but yet that experience did not 
deter others of the. same Indians from engaging 
in the subsequent wars of the Sioux nation. In 
1867 the Sioux were again in a condition of hos- 
tility, and the Fetterman massacre occurred, the 

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Indians being led by the same man^ (Red Cloud) 
who is said recently to have been instrumental 
in causing dissatisfaction among the different 
tribes. Treaties were made with them in 1869, 
but in 1876, they were again openly hostile, 
spreading terror over a vast section of the coun- 
try, embracing a portion of the two Dakotas, 
Montana, Northern Nebraska, and a part of 
Wyoming, The massacre on the Little Big 
Horn followed in 1876, in which two hundred 
and sixty officers and soldiers under General 
Custer perished^ After two seasons of campaign- 
ing against them by the United States troops, 
during the winter of 1875 and the summer of 
1876, and the terribly sevtre winter campaign 
of 1876 and 1877, upwards of five thousand 
agreed to surrender, and nine of their principal 
men gave themselves as hostages that the tribes 
would surrender on the Yellowstone or at the 
different agencies; which they did with the 
exception of two bands under the leadership of 
Lame Deer and Sitting Bull. The former was 
killed in the following May, and the latter driven 
to Canada and kept north of the boundary for 
three years, until he and his followers finally 
surrendered between 1877 and i88i. 

For four years from 1877 to 1881 they were 
under militaty control, and many of them were 


made self-sustaining. They were disarmed and dis- 
mounted, their war ponies were sold and the pro- 
ceeds returned to them in domestic stock, and in a 
few years they had a large herd of cattle, and 
wagons and cultivated fields. In z88x they were 
ordered to be sent down the Yellowsto^.e and Mis- 
souri to the southern agencies, and although 
they implored the different officers to write or 
telegraph to the authorities in Washington to 
leave them where their crops were developing in 
the fields, they were loaded on five large steam- 
. boats and shipped down the river, and turned 
over to the Indian agent at Standing Rock 

Many of these same Indians are now in a con- 
dition of threatening hostility. Within the short 
space of ten years we find the condition of the 
Cheyennes and Sioux Indians to be as follows ; 
the fine herd of cattle belonging to the Chey- 
ennes has disappeared. They claim that it has 
been partly taken by the whites, and that they 
were obliged to use the remainder for food. They 
claim that it was almost impossible for them to 
obtain food without committing depredations, 
and they stated in the presence of a commission 
recently visiting them tibat they were ^^ compelled 
to eat their dogs in order to sustain life." The 
fact that they have not received |Stt£^ratfix|d 

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is admitted by the agents and the oflficers of the gov- 
ernment who have had opportunities of knowing, 
and their condition is again as threatening as at 
any time when they have not been in hostility. -n 

The Sioux Indians during that time were 
under the charge of civil agents, who have been 
frequently changed, and often inexperienced. 
Many of the tribes have become rearmed and 
remounted, and have assumed a threatening atti- 
tude. They claim that the government has not 
fulfilled its treaties and has failed to make large 
enough appropriations for their support; they 
also claim that they have suflFered for the want 
of food, and the evidence of this is beyond ques- 
tion and sufficient to satisfy any unprejudiced, 
intelligent mind. The statements of the officers, 
inspectors both of the Military and the Interior 
Department, of agents, of missionaries and civil- 
ians familiar with their condition, leave no room 
for reasonable doubt that this is oile of the princi- 
pal causes of the present disturbance. While 
statements may be made as to the amount of 
money that has been expended by the Govern- 
ment to feed the di£ferent tribes, and while there 
is no intention of questioning the honesty of all 
concerned, the mannerofdistributing those appro* 
priations will furnish one reason for the deficit 


Another cause is the unfortunate failure of the 
crops in the plains country during the last two 
years. It has been almost impossible for the 
Indians to raise anything from the ground for ^ 
self-support; in fact, white settlers have been 
very unfortunate and their losses have been 
serious and universal through a large section of 
that country. They have struggled on from 
year to year; occasionally they would raise good 
crops of com, which they were compelled to sell 
for from fourteen to twenty cents per bushel, 
while in the season of drought their labor was 
almost entirely lost So serious have been their 
misfortunes that many hundreds have left the 
country within the last few years, passing oyer 
the mountains to the Pacific slope or returning 
to theeast banks of the Missouri and Mississippi. 

The -Indian, however, cannot migrate from one 
part of the United States to another; neither can 
he obtain employment as readily as white peo- 
pie, either upon or beyond the Indian reserva- 
tions. He must remain in comparative idleness 
and accept the results of the drought This 
creates a feeling of discontent, even among the 
. loyal and well-disposed, while there is quite a 
large element that is hostUe and opposed to every 
process of civilization. 

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In this condition of affairs the Indians realize ^ 
ithe inevitable, and as they see their nmnbers 
gradnally diminishing, their strength and power 
gone, they pray to their God for some supemat- 
nral help to aid them in the restoration of their 
former independence, and for the destruction of 
their enemies. At this stage emissaries from a 
certain religions sect or people living on the 
western slope of the Rocky Mountains came 
among them announcing that the real Messiah 
ha^ appeared ; and in order to convince them- 
selves, delegations of Sioux, Cheyennes, and 
other tribes left their reservations a year ago 
last November, travelling through the Arra- 
pahoe and Shoshone reservations in Wyo* 
ming, and thence via the Union Pacific they 
I>assedinto Utah, and were joined by others, Ban- 
nocks and K-Utes, until they came to a large 
conclave of whites and Indians in Nevada. They 
were there told that those present were all believ- 
ers in this new religion, that they were all 
an oppressed people, ^that the whites and Indians 
there were all the same, and that the Messiah I 
had returned to them. —^ 

So well was this deception played by men 
masquerading and personating Christ, that they 
made these superstitious savages believe that all 
who had fisuth in this '^ new • religion '' would 


occupy tne earth, and all who do not would be 
destroyed ; and they were told that which is most 
precious to the Indian heart, that the spirits of 
their departed relatives would be resurrected, 
and that after the whites were destroyed they 
would come back driving vast herds of buffaloes 
and wild horses. They there met the represent- 
atives of fourteen tribes of Indians, and after sev- 
eral months they returned to the various tribes 
and announced what they had seen and heard, 
fully convinced that what had been told them 
was true. But in order to gratify the savage 
nature of the warlike Sioux they agreed that 
acts would be necessary to appease or hasten the 
coming of the Messiah ; that they must help re- 
move the whites and thereby show their faith by 

their works. I 

To the disaffected, turbulent, hostile spirit of 
such men as Sitting Bull and others this was like 
a revelation ; nothing could be more gratifying ; 
and the false prophets and medicine-men imme- 
(iiately took advantage of the condition of the In- 
ilians to proclaim this doctrine and spread disaffec- 
tion among the different tnbes. -^ 

In early life Sitting Bull gained his reputation 
as a warrior by incessantly organizing and lead- 
ding raiding parties and by his perpetual hostility 
to the white race. Few Indians have anpc^^Qp 

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this continent who have been more successful in 
organizing ajid drawing to them large bodies of 
the discontented of their people. Emissaries trav- 
elled in various directions, not alone from his tribe 
but more especially from the Shoshones and 
Arrapahoes, who have been to some extent peace- 
able for many years, going to the different tribes 
and endeavoring to persuade them to this belief. 
Emissaries from Sitting Bull carried the tidings'^ 
to, the different tribes to get all the arms and am- 
munition possible, and meet all the warriors near 
the Black Hills in the spring. They visited the 
band of Sioux Indians north of the British bound- 
ary, and sympathy and promise of support were 
returned. The first sign of disturbance was to 
be the signal for the gathering of the warriors. 

During the last few years, and while there was 
apparently no danger of immediate outbreak, the 
Indians have been getting a large amount of am- 
munition and arms. The Indian's instinct is al- 
ways to obtain some weapon of warfare or defence, 
and if he cannot obtain a rifle, he will get a knife 
or a bow and arrow. His favorite weapon, and 
one he has been most desirous of obtaining, is 
the long-range Winchester rifle, which is a rifle 
of the most effective kind. 

The theory that a few lines of railway and the 
disappearance of the vast herds of buffidoes have 


made it impracticable for Indians to* go to war is 
erroneous. They are in a better condition for 
war at present than ever before ; they can live 
upon domestic stock, and there is abundance of 
it scattered over the plains country and much of 
the mountain country ; and the numerous horse- 
ranches would furnish them a remount in nearly 
every valley. The Nez Perces, Bannocks, and 
Apaches in their recent wars lived and moved en- 
tirely upon the stock of white settlers. The area 
over which they could roam is the country west 
of the Missouri River between the Canadian 
boundary and the Rio Grande. It contains a 
very sparse population that has been struggling 
to plant homes. < — i 

Another reason of encouragement to the Indians ^ 
to assume hostilities, and one of which their false 
prophets take advantage in influencing their fol- 
lowers, is the misfortunes that have occured to 
the white people in the plains country during the 
last few years. Three years ago a very large 
percentage of the domestic stock was destroyed 
by the intensely cold winter of 1887, and the losses 
were ruinous to thousands of white settlers 
and ranchmen. The drought during the last two 
years has been very serious, and has caused many 
of the poor settlers who have been struggling for 
years to support themscjlves and their families tolC 

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leave that country in pursuit of better fields west 
of the Rocky Mountains or east of the Missouri. 
This, the false prophets claim, is an indication 
that the Great Spirit is angry with the white peo- 
ple for destroying their buffaloes (cattle) and caus- 
ing them to leave the country, and that in time 
their buffidoes will return, as well as their dead I 
relatives. ^ 

While the Indians have been in this disaffected 
condition and rearming and remounting, the little 
army that is the only safeguard between the un- 
protected settlers and the savage hordes has been 
employed in other fields, audits supplies and 
equipments have been seriously curtailed. Con- 
gress has fixed the limit of the enlisted men in the 
army, the number of employees, the number of 
horses and the number of mules, and the limit is 
what might be required in time of peace, rather 
than what is actually required in serious warfare. 
Congress, however, has not limited Indian wars. 
This necessarily causes much embarrassment to 
the United States troops ; yet it has been the ex- 
perience of the army of the United States to cope 
with the lai^ number of savage tribes, experienc- 
ing all the dangers and hardships of a war in 
which no quarter is expected, and every officer and 
soldier who enters an Indian campaign realizes 


that unless he achieves success, naught awaits 
him bnt torture or death. 

No one who has not experienced it can com* 
prehend or appreciate the fortitude, hardships and 
sacrifices displayed and endured by our arm;^ in 
its years of experience in Indian warfare; fre- 
quently in the wildest and most rugged sections 
of country, amid canyons, mountains, and lava- 
beds, under the tropical heats of the south or in 
the Arctic blizzards of the extreme north ; yet, 
year after year, it discharges whatever service is 
required of it with most commendable fidelity. 

You ask me who is responsible for this con- 
dition of affairs. The answer is, both the whites 
and the Indians. 


First — ^Those white men who have compelled 
the Indians to live upon limited tracts of land 
and allowed them to get into the condition in 
which we now find them, dissatisfied and equipped 
for war. 

5>^«^]P— Another class of whites are those who 
have committed the great crime of instilling into 
the minds of these superstitious and vicious sav- 
ages the delusion that they have a Messiah among 
them, and that the white people who do not believe 
it will be destroyed by some supernatural powen it 
matters not whether the Indians have been incitedj 
by this class of white people in actual woixis to[C 


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open hostilities or not ; the deceptions that have 
been practised upon them have aroused their war- 
like natures until they are in a condition for de- 
vastation, plunder, ravage, and all the horrors 
that savage fiends can inflict upon defenceless 
and unprotected people. 

7>b>^— Another class of people who are respon- 
sible are the white men who have made merchan- 
dise of the welfare and safety of their own 
people ; in other words, those who have sold 
thousands of improved magazine long-rauge rifles 
and tous of ammunition to savages, which alone 
euable them to devastate the country. Those 
Indians could manufacture neither a rifle, a car- 
tridge, nor a knife ; yet they are better armed and 
better supplied with ammunition to-day than at 
any time in their histoxy. 

Fourth — ^Those who are to blame for this 
threatened danger are the Indians themselves; 
and Halleck's description of Red Jacket is not a 
bad illustration of the Indian's double character. 
While they have wrongs and grievances that 
have been fully enumerated, at the same time 
they have friends anxious to protect their inter- 
ests; but, notwithstanding this, they would in 
justification of some real or imaginary wrong, or 
prompted by some wild, savage religious frenzy, 
ravage a country and brain the innocent prattling 



babe with fiendish delight as readily as they 
would meet a stalwart foe. 

If you ask for a remedy that will prevent the 
possibility of such a condition of affairs in the 
future, I would say that I have not changed the 
opinion formed and stated thirteen years ago. 
After careful observation of all the principal 
tribes in the United States, I believe that those 
people who have been, and are still, a terror to the 
peace and good order of certain States and Terri- 
tones should be placed under some government 
just and strong enough to control them. 

The time has arrived when the lifes, welfare, 
prosperity, and future of those great States are 
too precious and too valuable to be jeopardized by 
these yearly alarms and frequent Indian wars. 
While thousands of people have fled from their 
little homes, and abandonedmost of their property, 
to seek shelter and refuge in any place where it 
could be obtained, and while thousands of resolute 
and intrepid officers and soldiers are enduring the 
severity of a Dakota winter to hold in restraint 
these tribes of turbulant savages, it is hoped that 
some conclusion will be reached by the Govern- 
ment to permanently end the present state of 
affairs. The subject is too serious for selfishness, 
acrimony, or partianship. It requires judicious, 
humane, and patriotic JreatmentL C-^OOqIp 

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As a sample of the difficulties General Miles 
had to contend with in drawing his cordon around 
thehostiles and gradually forcing a 'surrender 
against which they could hardly niunnur, we 
instance the murder of Few Tails, who was 
revered in his tribe, and who ranked as a philoso- 
pher among his kind. He was never regarded 
as other than friendly and his influence was 
courted whenever negotiations of a serious nature 
impended. A Pine Ridge correspondent thus 
tells of his murder, under the date of January 
19, 1891 : — When treacherous whites in the Bear 
Butte country wantonly murdered old Few Tails 
last week,and wounded his squaw, they committed 
an outrage that has come near ruining General 
^Miles' plans, and stampeding the 5,cxx> hostiles 
who are in camp here. Pew Tails was a relative 
of Young-man-afraid-of-his-horses, the only 
hereditary chief in the Great Sioux nation, and 
the most powerful leader among his people. 

Few Tails* party were on their way to Pine 
Ridge from a hunt. in the Bear Butte country. 
The party consisted of six bucks, two squaws, 
twelve ponies and two wagons. They carried 
with them a pass from General Brooke, and 
assurances from Captain Taylor that they were 
peaceable. Not a member of the little band was 
painted and they carried no ammunition or guns. 


Early on the morning of the nth they started 
on their journey southward. Before breaking up 
camp they carefully banked their fires. 

They had gone but a short distance when they 
were fired upon from an ambush by a party of 
,whites. Few Tails fell dead. One bullet 
pierced his brain and another missile struck him 
in the breast His squaw was shot in the leg 
and breast and probably fatally hurt. 

Few TaiPs corpse lay among the wild meat in 
the vehicle, while his squaw managed to crawl to 
the bushes, where she hid for a day before set- 
ting out on her painful tramp to Pine Ridge, one 
hundred miles away. The rest of the Indians 
abandoned the other wagon and fled, and she 
supposed that they too, were slain. About 
twenty yards from the place where Few Tails 
was killed. Lieutenant Marshall, of the Eighth 
Cavalry, found twenty or more Winchester rifle 
cartridges in a clump of bushes where the mur- 
derers were in hiding when the Indians were pass- 
ing along. On the day of the murder two young 
men by the name of Culbertson called at the 
camp of Colonel Merriam, of the Seventh In- 
fantry, and admitted that they had killed the In- 
dians, but claimed that the band had been caught 
stealing horses. Colonel Merriam, in his report 
to General Miles, says this story is untrue, and 

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requests that the Governor of South Dakota be 
advised of the outrage, so that the murderers 
may be punished. Lieutenant Marshall, in his 
report, characterizes the killing as cold blooded 
murder. When the wounded squaw crawled into 
the camp of the Sixth Cavalry at this place, 
yesterday, she was almost dead. 

So slow had been the transmission of official 
reports that the wounded woman, although she 
has stumbled and fallen all the way from Bear 
Butte, preceded them by a half hour. When 
she reached the hospital she began to rave about 
the murder of Few Tails. The Indians who were 
nursing the other wounded Sioux quickly spread 
the report that a relative of Young-man-afraid-of- 
his-horses had been killed by the whites. 

Almost instantly there was commotion in the 
hostile camp. Scouts reported the situation to 
General Miles, who immediately sent runners 
after Young-man-afraid-of-his-horses. When the 
chief appeared at headquarters and learned of 
the ingratitude of the whites he scowled, and for 
a few moments refused to be pacified Meantime 
the hostiles were saddling up their horses on 
the sides of the buttes and herding their cattle. 
It is a fact that it took all the diplomacy at the 
command of General Miles and his staff to win 
back iht good will of the great chief. Finally 


the latter walked away apparently satisfied that 
the army at least was not responsible for the 
assassination, but the fright of the hostiles was 
intensified to such an extent that the military 
became alarmed. 

Captain Charles King, of the Regular Army, 
in speaking of the death of Lieutenant Casey, 
while on a tour of observation and in front of 
one of the hostile Brule camps,reminds the country 
of the immense losses of valuable lives occa- 
sioned by each Indian uprising. The aggregate 
is certainly appalling, and to sead the list it is 
fair to conclude that Indian wars, by reason 
of their frequency, are far more disastrous in the 
end than a square bout with a foreign nation has 
ever proved to be. The Captain says : — 

" Another brave spirit gone I Another gallant 
fellow foully and treacherously murdered by the 
red men, and God alo ue knows who is to go next" 

There was something particularly sad about 
the killing of Lieutenant Casey. He was one of 
the pets of the whole service, and by that I mean 
not the pets described by the Washington corres- 
pondents of some of our papers, but a frontier 
•pet — ^a man loved by his comrades and almost wor* 
shipped by his men, because of the genial qualities 
that seemed to overflow within hinu 

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He was full of wit,fun, and devilment— a ring- 
leader in the pranks of his classmates, and the 
center of a laughing group at every recreation 

He was one of the cracK officers of his regi- 
ment—^tanley^s old Twenty-second. 

His selection to organize and command the 
first troop of Indian scouts raised for service in 
the North-west was an admirable one. Heart and 
soul he threw himself into the task, and his en* 
thusiasm had even reached and impressed the 

Mr. Remington, the artist, who has done such 
yeoman service in bringing our frontier life and 
service before the eyes of the people, was with 
him at the moment of his tragic end, and has 
told in simple but thrilling words the stoxy of 
how the Brules first invited his coming, then 
turned him back, and, like the brutal cowarfs 
they are, shot him dead the instant his head was 

Where will it end? 

Only a fortnight ago we got the news of Wa.- 
lace's death at Wounded Knee, and of the wound- 
ing of Garlington, Mann and Hawthorne. Does 
-anyone realize, I wonder, what losses the little 
army has sustained in our battling with the hos- 
tiles, for whom, if the truth were told, we feel far 



more sympathy and friendship as a rule than do 
the people at large ? It would be far too long a 
story to tell of the years spent in close proximity 
to the various tribes, the intimate knowledge 
acquired of their actual needs, their real wrongs^ 
their fancied grievances, their usual treatment at 
the hands of the politically appointed Indian 

Just at this moment I am mainly impressed 
with the truth and far reaching extent of the con- 
viction forced upon me years ago — that the army 
is but the bu£fer interposed between the white and 
the red man, and no matter whether the original 
wrong is wrought by agent or Indian, when the 
latter takes the warpath it is the soldier who 

I am bound to say that once he digs up the 
hatchet and prepares for business our noble red 
man forgets the favors and hospitalities shown 
him perhaps for years by his soldier friends, and 
he eagerly draws a bead on Captain this or 
Lieutenant that, around whose doorsteps he has 
been begging or in whose kitchen he has been 
fed more times than he can count ou his car- 
tridges, and he is sure to have a plentiful supply 
of these. He buys them between times as he 
does his Winchester or Henry at ten times their 

cost price in furs or peltries from the very settlqs^ 

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who are the first to importune the Government 
for troops and arms as soon as trouble comes. 

If Indian war is not rough on officers then sta- 
tistics are forked-tongued, as the Indian would 
say, but I hope no life insurance agency will 
believe them. But let us look at the list of offi- 
cers slain by our red men in these days of piping 
peace. It is formidable. 

Brigadier General B. R. S. Canby, massacred 
at the Modoc Council in the Lava Beds, April 
1873 — a damnable piece of treachery, as was 
the almost simultaneous murder of Lieutenant 
Will Sherwood, Twenty-First Infantry, whom 
they enticed to meet them by waving a flag of 
truce and then shot him down when he came to 
them ^' with peace in his outspread hands.** 

Lieutenant Colonel William H. Lewis, Nine- 
' teenth Infanty, in Western Kansas, September 

Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, Seventh 
Cavalry, at the battle of Little Big Horn, in 
Montana, June 25, 1876. 
I Major Joel H. Elliott, Seventh Cavalry, at the 
battle of the Washita, Indian Territory, Novem- 
ber 19, 1868. 

Surgeon Benjamin Tappan, Arizona, March, 


Captain Fred H. Brown, Eighteenth Infantry, 
near Fort Phil. Kearney, Wyoming Territory, 
and Captain W. J. Fetterman, Twenty-seventh 
Infantry, and Lieutenant George W- Grummond, 
Eighteenth Infantry, in the same desperate battle 
with Red Cloud^s surrounding warriors. Decem- 
ber 21, 1866. 

Lieutenant H. S. Bingham, Second Cavalry, 
near the same spot and by the same Indians, 
December 6, only two weeks before. 

Lieutenant Lyman S. Kadder, Second Cavalry, 
near Fort Wallace, Kansas, July, 1867. 

Lieutenant John C. Jennes, Twenty-seventh 
Infantry, near Fort Phil Kearney, August, i867. 
(A &tal neighborhood this, both then and there- 

LieutenantJohnMadigan, First Cavalry, Pitt 
River, California, September^ 1867. 

Lieutenant Sigismund Sternberg, Twenty- 
seventh Infantry, Fort C. F. Smith (near Fort 
Phil. Kearney), August i, 1867. 

Captain Louis M. Hamilton, Seventh Cavalry, 
leading the charge on Black Kettle's village, on 
the Washita, November 27, 1868. (Same battle 
in which Major Elliott was killed). 

Lieutenant Frederick H. Beecher, Third In- 
fantry, September 17. 1868, Arickaree Fork of 
the Republican, Western Kansas, (Colonel 

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George A. Forsyth, of SHeridan's staff, wounded 
and crippled for life in the same fight). 

Lieutenant William Russell, Jr., * Fourth 
Cavalry, near Lampasas, Texas, May 15, 1870. 

Lieutenant C. B, Stambaugh, Second Cavalry, 
near Miner's Delight, Wyoming, May, 1870. 

Lieutenant Howard B. Cushing, Third Cav- 
alry (brother of Albemarle Cushing, of the 
Navy), Arizona, May 5, 1870. 

Captain Franklin Yeaton, Third Cavalry, 
(died of wounds received in same fight). 

Lieutenant Fred. R. Vincent, Ninth Cavaliy, 
fight at Howard's Wells, Texas, April 20, 1872. 

Lieutenant Eben Crosby, Seventeenth Infantry, 
on survey of Northern Pacific Railroad, October 

Lieutenant Lewis Adair, TwentjHsecondlnfan* 
txy, same fight 

Lieutenant Reid T. Stewart, Fifth Cavalry, 
Arizona, August 27, 1872, (murdered by 

Captain Evan Thomas, Fourth Artillery, Lava 
Beds; California, April 26, 1873, battle with 

Lieutenant Albion Howe, Fourth Artillery, 
same fight 

Lieutenant Arthur Cranston, Fourth Artillexy, 
same fight*. . . . 



Lieutenant George M. Harris, Fourth Artillery, 
died of wounds received in same fight. 

Lieutenant T. F. Wright, Twelfth Infantry, 
same fight 

Lieutenant Jacob Almy, Fifth Cavalry, killed 
while protecting an Indian agent, San Carlos, 
A. T., May 27, 1873. 

The above have laid down their lives in what 
may be called open warfare, but think of the long 
list oif those who have been slain by treachery — 
who went down in cold blood at the hands 
of assassins. The sad list foots up as follows : — 

Lieutenant William L. Sherwood, Twenty- 
first Infantry, killed by Modocs, who enticed him 
to them by waving a flag of truce, April 11, 1873. 

Lieutenant L. H. Robinson, Fourteenth In- 
fantry, murdered by Sioux, Cottonwood Creek, 
Wyoming, February 9, 1874. 

Captain Myles W. Keogh, Seventh Cavalry, 
battle of the Little Horn, Mo/itana, June 25, 1876. 

Captain George W. Yates, Seventh Cavalry, 
same fight. 

Captain T. W. Custer, Seventh Cavalry, same 

Lieutenant and Adjutant W. W. Cooke, Sev- 
enth Cavalry, same fight 

Assistant Surgeon George B. Lord, U. S. A., 
same fight ^-^ 

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Lieutenant A. E. Smith, Seventh Cavalry, 
same fight 

Lieutenant Donald Mcintosh, Seventh Cavalry 
(Reno's battalion), same date. 

Lieutenant James Calhoun, Seventh Cavalry, 

same fight 
Lieutenant James E. Porter, Seventh Cavalry, 

same fight 

Lieutenant Benjamin W. Hodgson, Seventh 
Cavalry (Reno's battalion), same date. 

Lieutenant James G. Sturgis, Seventh Cavalry, 
same fight 

Lieutenant W. Van W. Reilly, Seventh Cav' 
ally, &ame fight 

Lieutenant John J. Crittenden, Twenty-second 

Infantry, same fight ^ 

Lieutenant H. M. Harrington, Seventh Cav- 
alry, same fight 

Lieutenant John A. McKinney, Fourth Cav- 
airy. Powder River, Wyoming, November 25, 

Captain Owen Hale, Seventh Cavalry, Bear's 
Paw battle ground, leading the charge on Chief 
Josephs band, September, 30^ 1877. 

Lieutenant J. Williams Biddle, Seventh Cav* 
airy, fell beside his captain in same charge. 

Captain William Logan, Seventh Infimtry, 
battle of Big Hole Pass, Montana, August 9, 1877. 


Lieutenant James H. Bradley, Seventh In- 
fantry (the same officer who made the daring 
night ride the previous year to locate the survi- 
vors of the battle on the Little Horn) killed in 
the same fight 

Lieutenant William L. English, Seventh In- 
fantry, same fight 

Lieutenant E. R. Heller, Twenty-first Infantry, 
White Bird Creek, Idaho, June 17, 1877. 

Captain E. C. Hentig, Sixth Cavalry, Arizona, 
August 30, i88i. 

Lieutenant George W. Smith, Ninth Cavalry, 
New Mexico, August 19, z88i. 

Lieutenant Seward Mott, Tenth Cavalry, Ari- 
zona, March ir, 1887. 

Lieutenant Sevier M. Raines, First Cavalxy, 
Craig's Mountain, Idaho, July 3, 1877. 

Captain Andrew S. Bennett, Fifth Infantry, 
Clark's Fork Mountain, Wyoming, September 4, 

Major Thomas T. Thomburgh, Fourth In- 
fantry, Milk River, Colorado, September 29, 1879. 

Lieutenant William B. Weir, Ordnance Depar- 
ment, killed by Utes, White River, Colorado, 
October ao, 1879. 

Add to these the names of the gifted and popu« 
lar Dr. Maddox and Lieutenant J. Hansell 
French, Tenth Cavalxy, who were kUled in thejp 

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later Apache campaign^ and of gallant Captain 
Wallace, Seventh Cavalry, (the fourth captain to 
be killed fighting at the head of ^'K" troop), and 
now of "Ned" Casey, of the Twenty-second In- 
fantry, and augment that by the list four times 
its size, of the ofiEicers now maimed and crippled 
by the wounds received in this savage and in- 
glorious warfare, and it must be admitted that 
the percentage of casualties is indeed heavy. 
And 'then think of the enlisted men 1 

We appropriate anywhere from five to ten 
millions of dollars per annum to the Indians and 
to their afiairs, and if the same amount of money 
should be devoted to any class of white people, 
benefaction would be regarded as one of the 
most liberal public charities in the kno\/n world. 
It is a very difficult thing, as every practical 
philanthropist knows^ to make gifts with such 
wise discretion as not to do more harm, than good ; 
and it is quite possible that the red men would 
be as well off in the long run if the Government 
should stop trying to devote to their welfare an 
average of, say, seven millions a year, and, after 
decent notice, should cut them square off and not 
give them another cent in the way of alms. If 
we should leave them to shift for themselves, as 
Canada does ; let them get along how they can, 
get rich if they can — starve if they must-— they 



would not bring more reproach and disgrace on 
the countiy than they now do. It is reasonably 
certain, however, that we shall never come to 
such a conclusion. We can let our own flesh 
and blood take the chances of good or evil fortune 
without a shadow of thought or care, and if a 
white man perishes in miseiy inconceivable and 
all his tribe with him, the collective conscience 
feels no twinge, and nobody but the cranks, 
communists, and backward-looking social reform- 
ers ever dreams of taking any Government action 
to prevent or remedy such dire disasters, so long 
as it is our own people who suffer and are crush- 
ed to death in the struggle for existence. But . 
with Lo the poor Indian the case is different 
He must have a better show than we even pre- 
tend to give our own, and the community feels 
a tender sense of responsibility for his welfare 
that is hurt and outraged whenever our clumsy 
attempts to help him are found to miscarry, as 
charitable undertakings so commonly do. 

We have taken the lands of these natives, oo- 
cupied their hunting grounds, and deprived them 
of the means of continuing their savage exist- 
ence; 'and now we, the people, in our national 
capacity, feel that we must do what we can to 
make their condition tolerable, and aid them to 
liye in some other than the savage state we have j r> 

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compelled them to abandon. It is for that reason 
and for that purpose we are willing to set aside 
every year such vast stuns for their use and be- 

We should, however, learn a little by experi- 
ence. We know only too well, and all the world 
knowsy how, a great deal, of waste and harm is 
brought about, and it will be to our shame and 
discredit if we do not seek to profit by that knowl- 
edge; We have seen our money squandered and 
the Indians driven to desperation by deception 
and fraud, because we have allowed the national 
bounty to become the prey of liars and thieves. 
That should never be again. Not one dollar 
should be appropriated by Congress for the al- 
leged benefit of the Indians which will go, as we 
do know it will go under the present agency Sys« 
tern, into the pockets of plunderers. 

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